"St. Louis selects re-draft 3-8-6: Garcia, Jaime O…No school is listed…Hometown: Mission Texas."
Jaime Garcia did not attend school this year. The 18-year-old was drafted in the 30th round by the Baltimore Orioles last season out of Sharyland High School in Mission, Texas, but disappointed by being drafted so low, he did not sign, graduated from high school, and returned to his hometown of Reynosa, Mexico, which is right across the United States border from Mission. He re-entered the draft this year.
"I'm sure everyone is going crazy trying to figure out who Jaime Garcia is… but you won't have to wait long, if we can sort out a visa for him," Luhnow recently told Brian Walton of the Birdhouse.
Until four weeks prior to the 2004 draft, Sharyland and MLB teams thought Garcia had another year remaining of high school baseball. However, after a closer look, it was ruled that Garcia's eligibility had been used. If not for this misunderstanding, it is possible that he could have been taken higher.
During the winter, Garcia played for the Hermosillo Naranjeros of the Mexican Pacific League, alongside major leaguers such as Vinny Castilla and Elmer Dessens. He struggled for the Naranjeros, posting an 8.38 ERA in 9-2/3 innings, but his numbers over the previous two seasons in high school were certainly impressive.
The lefthander owned an 18-4 record during that time and set the school record for strikeouts in a single season. Garcia, who throws an 87-90 mph fastball with a 12-6 curveball and a changeup, had 112 strikeouts in 49 innings during the 2004 season as he went 7-2 and held a 0.98 ERA. During the 2003 season, Garcia fanned 140 and owned a 1.11 ERA.
News and notes
• Anthony Reyes struggled in his next three starts after he threw a one-hit complete game shutout on May 19, going 0-2 with a 6.99 ERA and allowing 16 hits in 10-1/3 innings. In the last of those three starts, Reyes was chased after only one inning, allowing five runs on five hits and walking two. This led the Cardinals to believe that the 23-year-old righthander might have a tired arm, so they decided to skip his turn in the rotation on June 9.
The plan seems to have worked. Reyes was back to his usual self on Monday night in his return to the rotation against the Round Rock Express, the same team that sent 10 men to the plate while scoring five runs in the first inning back on June 3. Reyes was on a limited pitch count, but he pitched five shutout innings allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out seven. The win improved the Cardinals' top prospect to 6-3 with 2.93 ERA and a 66/16 K/BB ratio in 70-2/3 innings.
• Chris Lambert continued his struggles at Double-A on Sunday. The Cardinals' top draft pick from a year ago allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits in 3-2/3 innings while walking three and striking out four. In three starts since being promoted to Springfield on June 1, Lambert has went 0-2 and posted a 9.26 ERA while allowing 16 hits, walking nine, and striking out nine.
The 22-year-old was recently named to the Florida State League All-Star Game but will be unable to attend due to the promotion. In 10 starts for Palm Beach, Lambert was 7-1 with a 2.63 ERA and a 46/15 K/BB ratio in 54-2/3 innings.
• Brendan Ryan was activated from the Palm Beach Cardinals' disabled list on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old shortstop had been out since May 17 with a left hamstring strain, and was recently named to the Florida State League All-Star Game.
In his return to the lineup on Tuesday night, batting in the No. 2 spot, Ryan went 1-4 with two strikeouts. He is now hitting .320 with a home run and 12 RBI in 103 at bats.
• Eric Haberer, the Cardinals' 3rd round draft pick last season out of Southern Illinois, has been great since his promotion to High-A Palm Beach on May 27.
The 22-year-old lefthander picked up his first loss in four starts on Tuesday night, even though he was probably good enough for a win, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out two and walking two in seven innings. He is now 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA in 28 innings since the promotion.
Overall for the season, between Palm Beach and Quad Cities, he is 7-3 and has posted a 1.73 ERA with a 45/26 K/BB ratio in 83-1/3 innings. Haberer was named to the Midwest League All-Star Game but due to the promotion he will not be attending.
• Calvin Hayes was demoted all the way to New Jersey from Palm Beach on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old was hitting .281 in 181 at bats for Palm Beach. Taken in the third round of the 2002 draft, Hayes was the Cardinals top draft pick that year.
• Juan Lucena extended his hitting streak to seven games on Tuesday night, during which he has batted .536 (15-28). Lucena batted just .067 (2-30) in his first 13 games, but is batting .409 (27-66) with two home runs and 14 RBI in his 22 games since. Overall he is batting .302 in 96 at bats.
The Cardinals signed the 21-year-old Lucena out of Venezuela in 2002.
• Leonda Markee recently reported in her great weekly "This Week in the Minors" article that Mike Ferris, the Cardinals second round draft pick last year, batted only .063 (1-for-16) this past week, but had a .400 on-base-percentage, thanks to his nine walks.
• The Dominican Summer League Cardinals lead the Santo Domingo North Division with a 6-2 record after the first eight games of the season. The roster consists of players, ages 17-21, that were signed by the Cardinals from various parts of Latin America, including Venezuela, Curacao, El Salvador, Colombia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. You can follow the team and view their stats at dominicansummerleague.com.