2006 Ranking: N/A
School: University of Houston
Cardinal: Selected in the 34th round of the June, 2006 First-Year Player
Draft. 2006 AVG. AB H HR RBI R SB BB K OBP. SLG OPS
Jason Scott (34): Garcia had a very impressive professional debut, as seen in his stats above. Most probably say that, at 22, he was too old to be playing in the Appalachian League, but he actually played most of the season at 21, not turning 22 until August 20. So he will actually be playing most of next season at that age, most likely starting off at Quad Cities. And if he keeps up this performance, it shouldn't take him very long to advance through the system.
Leonda Markee (NR): The choice to leave Garcia off my Top 40 list was a difficult one because there is a lot to like about him. He had an excellent debut season, going .339/.395/.510/.906 in one hundred ninety-two at bats for Rookie League Johnson City. Garcia is also one of only four players in the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league system that walked more than he struck out in 2006, one hundred at bats minimum. (Another of the four makes the Birdhouse's Top 40 as well.) However, Garcia turned 22 in August and was one of the oldest players on the Johnson City roster. The combination of age at performance level plus 2006 draft rank (34th round), which I use as a ‘tools' projector, kept him off my list. Seeing him produce at a more age-appropriate level next season will almost definitely get him ranked by me.
Ray Mileur (33): Garcia was selected in the 34th round with the 1,036th pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, from the University of Houston in the 2006 draft.
Garcia joined the Houston Cougars for the first time in 2006 as a transfer and made an immediate impact. The Houston native batted .357 to lead the Cougars by more than 30 points ahead of his closest competitor.
Prior to his senior year at Houston, Garcia had back-to-back team triple crowns, hitting .339 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs for Sam Houston State in 2005 and .439-14-64 for Blinn Junior College in 2004.
In 57 games for the Johnson City Cardinals, Garcia posted a .395/.510/.906 line, hitting .339 with four home runs and 25 RBI in 192 at bats while playing at second base.
I consider Garcia a "Rising Star" and you can expect him to move up in the rankings soon.
Brian Walton (33): At 22 years of age, Garcia had a nice preparation for his pro debut, first excelling at Sam Houston State and then at the University of Houston. Then, it was difficult to ignore a player who hit .339 and put up a .906 OPS in his first professional action at Johnson City in 2006.
But, I felt a similar excitement about Juan Lucena after he hit for average in 2004, and he is now off our Top 40 and was left exposed in the Rule 5 draft.
Garcia has great pop in his bat and should continue to get a lot of extra-base hits as evidenced by his .510 slugging percentage. He is considered a competent defender at second base.
Based on his 2006 season, Garcia deserves a shot at Quad Cities next spring and who knows? If he makes the team and impresses, it is not inconceivable that Garcia could finish 2007 in Palm Beach.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not RatedTo see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
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