JC's Shorey, Garcia Pace 2006 Appy League

Johnson City outfielder Mark Shorey's 13 home runs led the Appalachian League while Cards' second baseman Isa Garcia's .339 batting average was highest in the circuit this season. Both players were drafted during the second day of the 2006 draft. Cardinals VP Jeff Luhnow comments on these two standouts and more in an exclusive audio interview for subscribers.

The conclusion of the 2006 Appalachian League regular season schedule Wednesday night provided a lot of excitement for the Johnson City Cardinals.

For the team, a 34-34 record was achieved. While reaching that .500 mark may not seem all that exceptional, it should be remembered that the JC Cardinals are the organization's lowest rung in the United States, where most players experience their first professional competition. Some other organizations have affiliates in stops like the Gulf Coast League and Arizona Summer League to initially indoctrinate their players to pro ball.

Having said that, the 2006 Cardinals spawned several standout performers, who are receiving league-wide recognition for their accomplishments. Even better is the fact that these leaders were unheralded players prior to this June's draft.

Outfielder Mark Shorey lead the Appalachian League with 13 home runs. The left-handed hitter's 47 RBI paced his team and was third-highest in the circuit. Shorey was selected mid-way during the second day of this year's First-Year Player Draft, nabbed in the 31st round from High Point University.

Second baseman Isaias Garcia won the Appy League batting title with a .339 average. The competition came down to the final day between Garcia and Danville outfielder Larry Williams, who ended up at .338. Isa Garcia, a Panamanian native, was the Cardinals' 34th round selection in the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Houston.

Other Johnson City standouts include first baseman Brandon Buckman, who hit .300 after being the Cardinals' first selection of the second day of the 2006 draft in the 19th round.

The tools-laden "young speedsters" of Thomas Pham, Nelson Lugo and Travis Mitchell also excelled, as each swiped 12 bases, tied for sixth highest in the Appy League.

Scout.com subscribers can hear Cardinals Vice President of Player Procurement Jeff Luhnow recap these players' accomplishments and more in this exclusive audio interview.


Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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