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ProspectNation 2011: #12 Harold Garcia- 2B

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 03, 2011 07:30 AM | Comments: 9
2011 Top 25 Prospects, Fightins, Minor Leagues, Posts, Prospecting

In 2004, second baseman Harold Garcia was signed as a free agent approximately 6 weeks before his 18th birthday. The 5’11″, 190-pounder got his professional career started by playing three seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League before heading to the United States to continue his climb toward the big leagues.

In three seasons playing in the VSL, Garcia’s offensive progression was clear, as he posted batting averages that increased annually- .226, .273, .296.

After arriving stateside, Garcia spent the 2008 season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, where he batted .299 with 5 homers and a .907 OPS in 50 games, leading his club to the league championship. He also went hitless in 2 at bats for the High A Clearwater Threshers.

In 2009, Garcia continued his winning ways, helping the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws lock down the South Atlantic League championship. As a member of the BlueClaws, Garcia finished third in the SAL with 42 steals. He also batted .291 with 8 homers and 55 RBI with a .765 OPS in 118 games that season.

Garcia began the 2010 season with High A level Clearwater and moved to Double A Reading midway through the season. In July, Garcia broke the 59-year-old Florida State League hitting streak record, when he logged at least one hit in 37 consecutive games for the Threshers. Garcia was subsequently recognized as the Phillies minor league player of the month for June. His .335 batting average and .889 OPS with Clearwater were impressive enough to earn him a promotion to Reading.

Despite making an immediate impact by lacing an RBI single in his very first Double A at bat, Garcia’s overall production took a bit of a dip (.281 avg., .743 OPS) as a member of the R-Phils, but he could certainly get an opportunity to improve those numbers this coming season. Combined at the two levels, Garcia stole 29 bases in 101 games.

Garcia, who turned 24 since last season ended, played with the Aguilas in the Venezuelan Winter League. In 28 games playing in his native Venezuela this Winter, Garcia posted a .286 batting average, scored 4 runs and drove in 4 runs. However, he only notched one extra base hit, a double and was successful in just one of five stolen base attempts.

The switch hitter, Garcia, has shown more effectiveness from the right side, going 5-for-12 (.417 avg) against left-handed hurlers in the Venezuelan League and generally posting a higher average from his natural side throughout his career.

A versatile fielder, Garcia has played 45 games at third base during his minor league career and he played both third and the outfield at instructional ball last Autumn, which increases his value as he moves higher in the system. If the big club finds itself with an injured infielder in the near future, Garcia could be a beneficial option for the Phillies to have. As a relatively efficient defender where ever he plays on the field, Garcia could have a future as a utility guy at the Major League level.

Look for Garcia to spend time at Triple A Lehigh Valley this year. Depending on his output in 2011, he could be destined to wear red pin stripes when the rosters expand in September.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league writer.  You can check out more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

Avatar of Jay Floyd

About Jay Floyd

Jay Floyd has written 740 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation's minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    Learning to play third, second and outfiled, plus being a switch hitter, this versatility looks like a real good utility player in the making. Maybe they can also teach him to play some shotstop, as well. We may have another Mariano Duncan or Caesar Tovar in the making. We really do need that superstar utility player, and Harold Garcia may be the one.

     
  • Posts: 5532 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Wow, a Caesar Tovar reference, where else but Phillies Nation can you get that ?! Tavian has to be old as dirt like me.

    Jay, a versatile but “relatively efficient defender” ? That sounds like a polite way of saying- not that good. Hopefully I took it the wrong way.

     
  • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

    Poised to take over for Chase Utley in a few years (from the Facebook post)? That sounds like a HUGE stretch!

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      That was to get the natives riled up. And it worked!

       
      • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Gotta get some comments somewhere, huh Pat?? Nice!

         
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

    Avatar of

    A little disappointing that the #12 prospect in the system is 24, and has the potential to be Wilson Valdez with a little more power. I know you need these types of guys, but that’s a pretty low ceiling for someone up this high. Looks like the potential is in pitchers and outfielders.

     
  • Posts: 38 GoPhils

    Avatar of GoPhils

    According to MLB.com, Garcia is not our best second base prospect. This would be Cesar Hernandez, who played for Williamsport last season. he was ranked the seventh best secondbase prospect in all of baseball! But Garcia could make valuable contribution to our club. He could be like an Omar Infante. Play some outfield, play some infield, replace an injured player, play solid defense and pepper the field with liners, pop one now and then, pinch-hit some, steal a bag. This is a valubale guy to have. He seems to be a Wilson Valdez-type, with more of a hit and speed tool, which is why I think the Omar Infante-comp is valid. I also understand he has a fine work ethic.

     
  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    The option for a late season call up, especially if (God forbid!) we are dealing with injuries in our infield is a nice one to have. Speedy, OK average and hopefully a decent defender. Wilson Valdez sub?

     
  • Posts: 338 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    Cesar Hernandez is certainly impressive, from all reports. I should get plenty of close looks at him this year in Lakewood.

    “Relatively efficient” is not a polite way of addressing his skills on defense. Just gotta vary the vocab from time to time. Plus…if I’ve asked someone about him that really only got to see him other places besides 2nd in last yr’s instruct’s, that’s about as deep as the info would be. Minimal sample size, ya know?

    He’s a good talent that phans should be excited to have approaching Triple A in the system this year. Like I said, if a Phils infielder spends some time injured in 2011 (very possible, based on how many IF injuries they had last season), Garcia is the type of guy you should want to have around, in order to fill voids.

     
 
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