Phillies Prospect #69: Michael Garciaparra

When you've got an older brother who is already famous, it's tough to make believers out of some people. Michael Garciaparra knows what that's all about as he strives to build his own name and career.

Acquired: Claimed on waivers from the Seattle Mariners on April 12, 2007.

B: T: R /  Height:  6' 1" /  Weight: 160 pounds

2007 Team: Clearwater (3 games), Reading (84 games), Ottawa (4 games)

Positions Played in 2007:   SS (79 games), 2B (8 games)

School: Bosco Tech Institute

Having a famous older brother guaranteed that Michael Garciaparra would draw some attention on Draft Day and he did. The Seattle Mariners, who had none other than Pat Gillick as their GM at the time, took Garciaparra with the 36th overall pick in the draft. In five seasons in the Mariners organization, Garciaparra never really established himself as a player worthy of the hype that he received or the position that the Mariners drafted him in. With just a .267 average over his time in the minors, the Mariners designated Garciaparra for assignment to start the season and when there were no takers, they placed him on waivers, allowing the Phillies to snatch him up. Although his first season wasn't stellar, Garciaparra could prove to be a nice addition to an organization, although the middle infield spots seem pretty crowded and he could eventually be squeezed out. But for now, Garciaparra gives the Phillies a guy with some professional experience, who can at least keep a roster spot warm for the younger prospects coming along through the system below him.

Batting and Power:  It was originally thought that Garciaparra would develop moderate power. Quite simply, that hasn't happened and he's averaged just 2.5 home runs per season in the minors and has shown no clue that he will suddenly find a power stroke. What he has going for him offensively, is a good eye at the plate and the discipline to use that skill to his advantage. He's averaged 33.7 walks and 59.5 strikeouts over his minor league career, not at all a bad ratio. His career average of .261 is pretty uninspiring though and he doesn't even bring the ability to pick up a lot of extra base hits, so his offensive abilities would have to rank just below average.

Baserunning and Speed: Nobody ever expected a lot of speed out of Garciaparra and they haven't gotten much. He will steal an occasional base, but his success rate of 65% should be higher, since he simply attempts to steal bases when it's not always advised. He'll make the occasional base running blunder, again, usually due to trying to do too much at an inopportune time. He'd probably be better off just realizing that he doesn't have the speed to make things happen on the bases and just do what he can, when he can.

Defense: Garciaparra's defense has gotten better over the years, but he's basically just an average defensive player. Originally playing shortstop, Garciaparra was a bust and the Mariners moved him to second base, where he showed some progress. The Phillies decided to push him back to shortstop last season and while his defense was better there than it was earlier in his career, it still wasn't really acceptable. The fact that he can play two positions adds a little to his resume, but he generally isn't going to be able to lend much help defensively.

Projection: It's likely that Michael Garciaparra will be one of those Quad-A type players who get an occasional shot here and there, but are generally just journeymen who spend much of their time playing at Triple-A and filling a hole for a club until some better prospects come along. He could serve as an emergency insurance policy, but won't ever truly figure to add much to a Major League club. It should be noted though that he will just turn 25 next April and sometimes players don't truly click until they hit that age or even a little older, so there's still some hope.

ETA: The Phillies have Garciaparra on the 40 man roster, so if they needed an emergency fill-in this season, he could conceivably get a call. He would probably have to be putting up good numbers at Triple-A Lehigh Valley to have any shot, but if he were to take off, he could take advantage of his spot on the roster and get a September call-up, but those odds are long.

What else you should know about Michael Garciaparra :  Yes, he's Nomar Garciaparra's younger brother.

Michael Garciaparra's career stats

YEAR TEAM         AVG   G    AB   R   H  TB  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB IB  SO SB  SLUG    OBP
2002*Mariners    .275  46   160  27  44  62   8   5   0  20  20  0  42 13  .388   .383
2002 Everett     .161   9    31   3   5   7   2   0   0   3   4  0  15  0  .226   .257
2003 Wisconsin   .243 122   440  55 107 127  12   1   2  38  38  0  80 14  .289   .314
2004 Int Empire  .226  70   234  48  53  74  12   3   1  26  31  1  44  5  .316   .333
2004*Mariners    .273   3    11   4   3   5   0   1   0   4   2  0   5  0  .455   .429
2005 Int Empire  .298  84   336  60 100 139  15   3   6  33  35  0  64 10  .414   .387
2006 San Antonio .305  28   105  13  32  40   3   1   1  16   8  0  21  1  .381   .375
2006 Tacoma      .316  42   136  26  43  51   5   0   1  10  22  0  26  3  .375   .422
2006*Mariners    .313   4    16   3   5  11   3   0   1   2   1  0   0  1  .688   .353
2007 Clearwater  .182   3    11   3   2   3   1   0   0   2   3  0   2  0  .273   .400
2007 Reading     .240  84   271  32  65  82   4   2   3  26  34  3  54  6  .303   .343
2007 Ottawa      .154   4    13   1   2   2   0   0   0   1   4  0   4  0  .154   .389
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS           .261 499  1764 275 461  603 65  16  15 181 202 21 357 58  .342   .355

* Mariners listing is for Seattle's Rookie league team and NOT for the Major League club.



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