Luis Garcia (minors07)
Luis Alfonso Garcia Alvarez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 180 lb.
Garcia was signed originally by the Boston Red Sox in 1996 and he debuted that year as a pitcher in the Dominican Summer League, going 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA. In 1997, he split the year between the DSL Red Sox (0-3, 5.91) and the GCL Red Sox (1-2, 1 Sv, 2.87, 18 K in 15 2/3 IP but 10 walks and a RA over 5.5). At age 20, he was converted to a hitter and batted .212 with 8 HR and 32 RBI for the DSL Red Sox.
1999-2004: Power in the minors
In 1999, Garcia began to emerge as a prospect. Playing for AZL Mexico, he hit .330/~.400/.649 with 35 runs, 40 RBI and 13 HR in 50 games. He was 6th in the Arizona League in batting average and led in slugging percentage, total bases (122), extra-base hits (28) and home runs. He set the AZL home run record, which would later be broken by Wladimir Balentien. Garcia was named to the league All-Star team in the outfield.
For the 2000 Augusta GreenJackets, Luis batted .260/.329/.456 with 27 doubles, 20 home runs, 77 RBI and 112 strikeouts; he also was 8 for 9 in steal attempts. The Mexican first baseman finished three homers behind South Atlantic League leader J.R. House. In 2001, he batted .303/.348/.498 for the Sarasota Red Sox and .310/.384/.590 with the Trenton Thunder. He also appeared in the 2001 Futures Game and went 0 for 1 with the game's only error as the backup 1B for the World team after replacing Carlos Pena. Baseball America rated him the #19 prospect in the Florida State League. He had 34 doubles, 26 homers and 89 RBI while striking out 129 times.
On December 15, he was traded with Rick Asadoorian and Dustin Brisson to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Dustin Hermanson. He hit .266/.335/.442 for the New Haven Ravens with 12 HR in 88 games, then got traded again, this time to the Cleveland Indians with a player to be named later (Coco Crisp) for Chuck Finley. Finishing the season with the Akron Aeros, he put up a .289/.343/.452 line in 39 games there for a composite .274/.338/.445 season in 127 games, with 18 home runs.
For the Hermosillo Naranjeros in the winter of 2002-2003, he hit .282/?/.508 with 36 runs and 36 RBI in 195 AB. 2003 was Garcia's worst year in pro baseball - he only hit .215/.260/.331 for the Buffalo Bisons, cracked just 7 homers and struck out 97 times. He led International League first basemen with 10 errors as well.
Garcia hit .265/?/.482 for Hermosillo in 2003-2004. He might have been rated the #4 prospect in the Mexican Pacific League by Baseball America - they list a "Luis C. Garcia, OF, Hermosillo" in this role. There was no Luis C. Garcia on Hermosillo, only Luis A. Luis C. Garcia was on Obregon and had been for several years; he too was an outfielder and had similar stats that year. To make matters worse, they list the organization as "Diamondbacks" when it is unclear that either would have been in the D-backs system.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2004, Luis had a fine rebound season for the Las Vegas 51s, hitting .314/.354/.584 with 32 doubles, 32 homers and 95 RBI. He was 4th in the Pacific Coast League in home runs, trailing Kevin Witt by 4, Calvin Pickering by 3 and Andy Tracy by one.
2005- : Mexico and Norfolk
In 2004-2005, the 26-year-old batted .320/?/.521 for Hermosillo. He started 2005 with the Norfolk Tides but only hit .219/.285/.437 in 41 games and was let go by the New York Mets. Going to the Mexican League for the first time, he hit .273/.325/.453 in 38 contests for the Monterrey Sultans.
Garcia batted .320/?/.607 with 49 runs and 57 RBI in the 2005-2006 LMP campaign. The Hermosillo slugger led the Mexican Pacific League in both home runs and RBI and tied for sixth in batting average in a fine winter campaign. He was named the league MVP.
He then played for the Mexican team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic; he played right while Luis C. Garcia played left. Luis Alfonso hit .222/.318/.500 and led the team with 3 extra-base hits and four runs. Garcia got a spring training glance from the New York Yankees and went 5 for 13 with 2 homers and 8 RBI but did not make the club.
Returning to Monterrey for a full season, he batted .354/.444/.646 with 19 HR and 60 RBI in 64 games. He followed with a .278/.373/.503 winter season for Hermosillo. In the 2006 Caribbean Series, he was a one-man attack for the Naranjeros, batting .458/.480/.625, second in the Series in average.
The cleanup hitter and right fielder for the Mexican national team in the 2007 Pan-American Games, Garcia hit only .176/.222/.412 but he did outperform #3 hitter Karim Garcia and contributed Mexico's lone run against the Cuban national team with a solo shot off of Adiel Palma. Mexico won a Bronze Medal.
Garcia hit .334/.414/.517 for Monterrey in 2007 and helped them to the title that year. In the playoffs, his 5 homers tied teammates Karim Garcia and Mendy Lopez for the most.
Garcia batted .417/.483/.583 with 4 doubles for Mexico in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. He only scored 3 and drove in 3 in 7 games as Mexico failed to win a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He finished 7th in the event in average.
In the 2008 season, Luis struggled mightily, only hitting .252/.348/.410 with 10 homers for the Sultans, who still made it to the finals before falling. He was chosen for the national team despite his off-year and batted .241/.371/.414 in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup, leading the event with 10 strikeouts (in 29 AB).