As the Reds ponder their future at leadoff down at the bottom of their pipeline is 20 year-old Kevin…
Can Garcia Crash Prospect Radar?
On the mound starter Bernardo Moreta got no decision after he was lifted in the fourth inning and charged with three runs. Juan Martinez relieved him with two-plus scoreless frames to lower his ERA to 1.59. 2013 16th round selection Fabian Roman entered in the eight and finished the game without allowing a run for the win.
Every team mines the Caribbean hard for baseball talent and uses the Dominican summer leagues heavily to develop players before they move stateside. Most all of the prospects are young and raw-skilled and many never make it to the mainland. Considering all the resources teams put into these activities, it's difficult to find much in-depth information about the foreign league prospects beyond the high-profiled ones that sign big bonuses. Some of them do make their way upwards in their organizations to become good MLB players. For the Reds the AZL League is a common stop for young players fresh from the island. Last year Jonathan Reynosa popped onto some prospect radars when he cracked .300 for the AZL Reds. This year's version may turn out to be Garcia.
The Venezuelan Garcia recently turned twenty years old and in his second professional season. After seven games in his first season in the US he's hit .356 AVG/.370 OB/.692 SLG with a couple of homers. Last year with the DSL Reds he hit a decent .264 and walked 41 times to make a nice OB% of .378 and an AVG/OB differential of more than .100'. That's been a different story thus far in 2013 because he's only drawn one free pass in 20 plate appearances, but the season is still young and it's very common for young foreign players (and many young non-foreign ones for that matter) to need development with their plate discipline. Thus far he has maintained his contact rate of last season when he struck out in 13.4% of his trips into the batter's box.
Garcia stands 6'1'/177# and bats/throws right-handed. Defensively he's always been in the outfield. Perhaps there might be some concerns with his arm because most of that action has been in left and center fields. On the other hand, he might have just had a teammate with a stronger arm keep him out of right. He's run down around two putouts per game while in center which is slightly low. However, he's still very young and wouldn't need much improvement on routes to bring it up to a range that is satisfactory for the position.
The short seasons in the US started less than two weeks ago and there typically isn't a lot of publicity for the AZL League which is a routine stopping place for foreign players and draft picks fresh out of high school. Should Garcia maintain his current level of play he'll get a lot of good publicity within the Reds' front office for sure. Historically Latin America has contributed many good players to Major League Baseball and that will continue into the future. Time will tell if Garcia can become a serious candidate to join that list.
Other Organizational News:
The Reds fell behind by three and lost the rubber game of their series at Texas by a score of 3-2. Mat Latos took the loss for allowing three runs (two earned) off eight hits and two walks in six-plus innings while striking out eight. Alfredo finished for the Reds by tossing a scoreless eighth to bring his ERA down to 3.07. Joey Votto reached safely three times with a couple of hits and a walk while Jay Bruce singled twice.
Louisville scored runs in the seventh and eighth innings in their 4-2 win at Indianapolis. Mike Hessman led the Bats offensively with three hits including a two-run home run to get scoring started in the first inning. Pedro Villarreal allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings pitched and hung around long enough for the win. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out five. Four relievers combined for three scoreless frames with Jose Diaz getting the save for retiring the side in order in the ninth.
Bakersfield lost 3-2 at Visalia. The Blaze started off well enough when they jumped out to a two-run lead from a two-run single by Steve Selsky in the first inning. Juan Silverio and Kyle Waldrop both had two of their team's seven hits while Chris Berset reached safely with a hit and a walk. On the mound starter Shane Dyer failed to finish the fifth inning and was charged with all three runs and the loss. Jake Johnson relieved him with three-plus scoreless frames.
Dayton made up for Saturday's rainout by getting swept at South Bend by scores of 4-1 and 4-2. In the first game Drew Cisco was victimized by an error and took the loss for allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk over five-plus innings while striking out seven. Junior Arias had two of the Dragons' five hits and Jesse Winker reached with both a hit and a walk.
In the second game Dayton allowed three runs in the fifth en route to another loss. Offensively they finished their scoring in the first inning after RBI-hits from Winker and Seth Mejias-Brean. Mike Saunders took his first start of the game and got no decision for allowing one unearned run off of one hit and two walks in four innings. Troy Amezcua was charged with three runs (two earned) in less than one inning pitched for the loss.
Billings allowed three runs in the fourth inning and came up short in their 5-4 loss at Great Falls. Six Mustangs had one hit each including a two-run homer by Jose Ortiz in the sixth inning. Ben Lively started the game with three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Daniel Wright allowed four runs over the next two frames for the loss.
The DSL Reds picked up a 4-3 win after ten innings over the visiting DSL Orioles. Henderson Peralta led the Reds with three hits which raised his average to .333. Derik Capitillo ended the game with a walk-off triple. Ery Bernabel had two hits and a walk while Hector Vargas contributed a single and a triple. Jose Veras got no decision from allowing three runs (two earned) over five innings. Jose Munoz entered in the tenth, watched a base-stealer thrown out at third base end the inning, and hung around to get the win without retiring a batter.
The DSL Rojos had an off-day and will travel to play the DSL Giants on Monday.
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