Not many people have heard of Anthony Garcia. Probably because he was drafted in the 18th round. Or it could be that he hasn’t played above Mid-level A and the Midwest League. After 2013, Anthony Garcia will be heard of. I believe he has a great chance to be THE sleeper prospect in the organization this season.
Garcia was drafted out of the San Juan Educational School in Puerto Rico and began his professional career at the young age of 17. Drafted as a catcher, Garcia has shifted to left field. His lower quality defense behind the plate forced the move. Garcia has average speed and an above average arm. If he can improve his route running, Garcia could move to right field.
Anthony Garcia’s bat is definitely his strength and he showed it big time in 2012. Garcia played for the Quad City River Bandits in 2012 after a couple of seasons at the Rookie Level. 2012 was a breakout season for Garcia, as he hit .280 with 19 home runs and 74 runs batted in. If we compare Garcia’s season with the rest of the Midwest league, we find that he finished third in OPS behind teammate Colin Walsh and Twins super prospect Miguel Sano. Garcia finished second in home runs (behind Sano) and sixth in RBI’s.
If Garcia has a weakness it could be his plate discipline as he struck out 107 times in 444 plate appearances. Garcia is still young for the level and he seems to have good power to all fields, so I look for his BB/K ratio to improve in 2013.
For 2013, I hope the Cardinals try to push Garcia a little. I believe he will start the season at High-A Palm Beach. The Cardinals have skipped Palm Beach lately with certain prospects. Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong went from Quad Cities to AA Springfield. So, the Cards could start Garcia at Peoria (this years’ Quad Cities) and advance him to Springfield late in the season although I would bet they stick to the former plan.