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Minor League Prospect Report: Anthony Garcia, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

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Minor League Prospect Report: Anthony Garcia, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

If you're looking for a sleeper outfield prospect to track, take a look at St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Anthony Garcia. Although his season ended early in August with a hamstring injury, he did enough for Quad Cities in the Low-A Midwest League to get himself on the radar for 2013. Let's take a look.

Garcia was drafted by the Cardinals in the 18th round in 2009, from high school in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Originally used as a catcher, he showed a strong throwing arm but was too error-prone to remain behind the plate, moving to the outfield full-time in 2011. He has a very good throwing arm and average speed, although his route-running needs work and his range is currently below average. He's played mostly left field in the low minors, although his arm is good enough that with more polish he could work in right field.

It is the bat that makes Garcia interesting. A right-handed hitter and thrower, he is listed at 6-0, 180, but looks a little taller and bigger than that. Born January 4, 1992, the 20-year-old performed well for Quad Cities this year, hitting .280/.354/.525 with 34 doubles and 19 homers. His .879 OPS ranked third in the pitching-oriented Midwest League; his .525 SLG ranked second, four points ahead of Minnesota Twins uber-prospect Miguel Sano.

No, Garcia isn't as good as Sano, but he's got talent, featuring above-average bat speed and (when I saw him at least) power to all fields. He did a good job controlling the strike zone in the games I saw him play, although he wasn't consistent about this the rest of the year and posted a 34/107 BB/K in 396 at-bats, a weak enough ratio to throw up a caution flag.

That said, Garcia is still quite young, and he's hit for power at every level to which he's been exposed, holding a career .285/.373/.503 line in rookie ball and Low-A. If he can improve his contact/discipline issues, and make more progress on defense, he could be quite valuable going forward.