A Saturday night in Brooklyn turned into a standout night for one of the New York- Penn League’s hottest hitters in Stone Garrett of the Batavia Muckdogs, affiliate of the Miami Marlins. Garrett is off to an excellent start in 2015 but this was my first opportunity to see him in person. He certainly did not disappoint; Garrett went 2-3 with a home run and four RBIs. Garrett’s strong night continued his already impressive 2015 season, which has been much better than this 2014 season.
As of this writing Garrett has played in 40 games, the exact number of games he played in 2014. While the competition is higher in the NYPL compared to the GCL, the improvement in his numbers stands out. In the same amount of games, 2015 has seen Garrett have an extra eight at-bats from 148 to 156. The stat that stood out the most is Garrett’s home runs.
Garrett did not hit a single home run in 2014, but he has seven already this season, good enough to lead the league. This has in turn boosted his RBI total from 11 in 2014 to 29 in 2015. Three other stats that have improved are BA (.236 to .301), OBP (.269 to .343), and SLG (.270 to .577). The improvement in SLG is one that has doubled and has really put into context the improvement Garrett’s stats have seen.
The eight extra AB’s in the 40 games has seen his strikeouts increase from 31 to 44. The jump in strikeouts can be attributed to a few things: his inability to resist chasing breaking balls in the dirt and the level of pitching improving from the GCL to short season A ball. (Quinn Berry has a more detailed scouting report here) I would have liked to have seen more walks in the extra at-bats Garrett accumulated, but overall his statistics have jumped off the page in only his second professional season and first in the NYPL.
While most minor league numbers should be taken in context, particularly Class A short season, the stark contrasts between seasons makes Garrett a player to watch closely for the Marlins farm system in 2016. As an eighth round draft pick in 2014 and a high-school bat, there is plenty of time for Garrett to develop. We will keep an eye on him in the future.