Mario Laverne Garza
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 202 lb.
- School University of Florida, Stanford University
- High School Melbourne Central Catholic High School
1B/C Mario Garza has played, coached and managed in the minors.
Garza played for the US in the 1997 World Youth Championship. He hit .506 as a high school sophomore, .475 as a junior and .438 with 25 steals as a senior. As a college freshman at Stanford, he was just 3 for 23 with two doubles and four walks; he did not play in the 2000 College World Series. He hit .298 for the Anchorage Bucs in the 2000 Alaska Baseball League. He was 4 for 22 with a double, homer and 3 walks as a sophomore, then transferred away to get more playing time. Garza hit .308/.406/.571 as a junior at the University of Florida then .349 with 13 homers and a team-high 66 RBI as a college senior. The Houston Astros took him in the 25th round of the 2003 amateur draft.
He played in the minor leagues for the Astros in 2003-2006 and in the independent Frontier League in 2007. Primarily a DH for the 2003 Martinsville Astros, Garza hit .295/.412/.564 for the team's second-best OPS. In 2004, he batted .238/.343/.481 for the Tri-City ValleyCats, with 15 homers and 65 RBI in 66 games. He led the New York-Penn League in home runs and RBI (10 ahead of Juan Llamas). He was named the NYPL All-Star 1B. He hit 15 more home runs in 2005, playing for the Lexington Legends (.216/.314/.466 in 29 G) and Salem Avalanche (.292/.403/.492 in 80 G). With Salem, he was second to Ben Zobrist in OPS, ahead of Hunter Pence, Drew Sutton and Edwin Maysonet. In 2006, Mario fell to .222/.370/.352 for Salem, inadequate production for someone who was mostly a DH. He was let go by the Astros. In 2007, he hit .237/.347/.429 with 12 dingers in 245 AB for the Washington Wild Things.
In 361 minor league games, Garza had hit .249/.366/.451 with 53 home runs and 221 RBI.