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.
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.