Gulf Coast Cardinals Player of the Year: 2010

A position change helped Anthony Garcia to flourish at the plate for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

Drafted in the 18th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Anthony Garcia began his professional career as a catcher. In 2010, he was moved to the outfield and his progress at the plate was tremendous. So tremendous that Garcia is The Cardinal Nation/ 2010 Gulf Coast League Cardinals' Player of the Year.

The 18-year-old hit .284/.406/.457 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 39 games. Garcia drew more walks, 19, than strikeouts, 17. His .862 OPS and on base percentage would have been the third best mark in the league had he enough at-bats to qualify.

His five home runs tied for the fifth-best mark in the league while his .457 slugging percentage would have ranked seventh.

Of the players with at least 100 plate appearances, his K/BB rate was the fifth-best in the league.

For his efforts, Garcia was rewarded with a call up to Johnson City to help with that team's playoff run.

Congratulations to Anthony Garcia for being named the 2010 Gulf Coast League Cardinals' Player of the Year.

Honorable Mention

Since joining the Cardinals organization, Roberto De La Cruz has received his share of attention. Unfortunately, it was not for his performance on the field but for his signing bonus. The $1.1 million bonus he received in July of 2008 was the largest the team had ever given to a foreign player at that time.

In his second full season, the third baseman from the Dominican Republic showed glimpses of the potential the Cardinals saw when they handed over the record-breaking bonus.

De La Cruz hit seven home runs in 162 at-bats which tied him for the league lead. Pittsburgh's Eric Avila, who also hit seven long balls during GCL play, had over 30 more at-bats than the Cardinals' youngster.

For the season, De La Cruz would finish with a slash line of .241/.291/.432. His isolated power of .190 was the sixth-best mark in the league.

Though he struggled with batting average and slugging percentage, Sam Tuivailala's walk rate of 17.9% was the tops in the league. His 29 walks also led the GCL. Though he would hit only .178, his keen eye at the plate would allow him to reach base at a .335 mark.

Serving as the team's primary catalyst, Starlin Rodriguez reached base at a .357 clip and finished ninth in the league with 14 stolen bases. The middle infielder tied for eighth in the league in steals while showing flashes of superb defense.

Steven Ramos barely beat out Rodriguez for the team's stolen base lead. The 20-year-old finished with 15 steals in 17 attempts. The outfielder finished with a line of .283/.340/.391 with one home run and 10 RBIs.

After hitting only .165 in his pro debut, David Washington rebounded to hit .284/.370/.432 during his sophomore campaign. During the month of August, the 19-year-old slugged .520 and hit the first two home runs of his career.

First baseman Luis Pimentel led the team with a .301 batting average. The Dominican finished sixth in the GCL in hitting while making only one error in the field.

Note: Link to article with all award winners across the system as well as 2010 team recaps, exclusively for subscribers!

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