Player: Aramis Garcia
Drafted by: San Francisco Giants
DOB: 01/12/1993 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 200 pounds
School: Florida International
Previously Drafted: 20th round, 2011 (Cardinals)
Except for Max Pentecost, no college catcher has shown as much improvement over the last three years as Florida International’s Aramis Garcia.
Selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 20th round of the 2011 draft out of high school, Garcia passed on the opportunity to turn pro in favor his previous commitment to FIU. While made an immediate impact in 2012 as a freshman, batting .271/.344/.417 with six home runs in 55 games, Garcia struggled to control the strike zone and ultimately struck out 43 times compared to 19 walks.
Garcia burst onto the draft scene the following year thanks to a breakout offensive performance, as the then-20-year-old batted .321/.378/.522 with 12 doubles, 11 homers and 51 RBI. However, his 39/17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 57 games still left something to be desired.
With his draft status on the line this spring, Garcia turned in his best season to date for FIU, as the junior batted .368/.442/.626 with 14 doubles, eight home runs and, most importantly, a drastically improved 23/25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 45 games.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Advanced right-handed batter with a good feel for hitting; plus bat speed; employs a short, compact stroke that is designed for hitting line drives; approach focuses on driving the ball back up the middle; trusts his hands and ability to handle velocity on the inner half; shows good pitch recognition, which allows him to work deep counts; solid on-base skills.
Has plenty of untapped power in 6’2”, 200-pound frame; should hit for more power by adding some leverage to his swing; ball already jumps off his bat; potential for average power to all fields at maturity.
Well below-average runner; moves decently at full speed.
Average arm strength should be good enough to throw out runners at a reasonable clip as a professional; accuracy should improve with experience, along with his footwork.
Potential to be an average defensive backstop; footwork is inconsistent and will require considerable refinement in the minor leagues; decent receiver; blocking skills are raw; boxes too many balls; has drawn rave reviews from pitchers and coaches for his makeup and ability to handle a game.
MLB Player Comparison: A.J. Pierzynski
Garcia compares to A.J. Pierzynski, as they’re both bat-first catchers with good bat-to-ball skills and average power, as well as the ability to get the most of their defensive abilities despite lacking loud tools.
Projection: Second-division catcher
Major Leagues ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 90 percent
Catching prospects with realistic offensive upside are few and far between in this year’s class, so expect Garcia to come off the board earlier than expected and sign with his drafting organization.