QCs Garcia, Walsh MWL post-season all-stars

Quad Cities' Colin Walsh and Anthony Garcia nab two of 13 Midwest League post-season all-star spots.

Two Quad Cities River Bandits players have been named among the 13 best Midwest League players as recognized by the league's post-season All-Star team, announced on Wednesday. Anthony Garcia is one of three outfielders and Colin Walsh is the designated hitter, chosen from members of the 16 MWL clubs.

Despite having been placed on the disabled list last Saturday, Garcia, 20, is second in the league in home runs (19), extra base-hits (56) and slugging percentage (.525). His 208 total bases are third in the league. In a career-high 109 games, Garcia committed only one error in his first 71 games in the outfield.

The native of Carolina, Puerto Rico was selected by the Cardinals from San Juan Educational School in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. He played in 2009 and 2010 with the rookie-level GCL Cardinals and the rookie-level Johnson City Cardinals in 2010 and 2011.

Garcia was the Midwest League Player of the Week for the period of June 18-24. He started the second half with a 16-game hitting streak, tied for fourth in the Midwest League this season. Garcia was The Cardinal Nation's 22nd ranked prospect prior to the 2012 season.

Walsh, 22, was among the league leaders in a number of offensive categories before going on the disabled list in the first week of July. Out until August 12, he remains the league leader in slugging percentage (.538) and on-base percentage (.419). The switch hitter is third in the league with a .314 batting average and is tied for fifth in home runs (16) despite not having hit one since June 27.

Walsh was both The Cardinal Nation and Cardinals organization's Minor League Player of the Month in May. In his third season with Quad Cities, Walsh has been selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League after the regular season.

Considered a utility player but with a plan to focus on second base in the future, Walsh has started 33 games in left field, 19 at second base, two at third base and 36 games as a designated hitter.

A native of La Jolla, California and graduate of Stanford University, Walsh is in his third season in the Cardinals organization. He played for rookie-level Johnson City, short-season Batavia and Quad Cities in 2010 and again with the 2011 Midwest League Champions.

Walsh started as the Western Division designated hitter in the Midwest League All-Star Game June 19. Other Bandits selected as mid-season all-stars were pitcher Heath Wyatt, catcher Juan Castillo and infielder Luis Mateo.

Garcia and Walsh are the first River Bandits postseason All-Stars since first baseman Matt Adams was selected in 2010. Prior to Adams, the last postseason All-Stars for Quad Cities were catcher Bryan Anderson and designated hitter Randy Roth in 2006. Left-handed reliever Kevin Ool was a postseason All-Star in 2005, the first season the club was a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate.

The 2012 team was selected by votes from the 16 Midwest League team managers.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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