Omar Enrique Garcia Fernandez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 188 lb.
Omar Garcia was a first baseman who was oddly noted more for his contact than his power for much of his career. He played professional baseball from 1989-2007, including many years at AAA, but never reached the major leagues.
Garcia was picked in the 18th round of the 1989 amateur draft by the New York Mets. For the 1989 GCL Mets, he hit .255/~.324/.306. In 1990, he batted .333/.390/.484 as the first baseman of the Kingsport Mets; his infield mates were an elite bunch for Rookie league with Butch Huskey, Quilvio Veras, Aaron Ledesma and Micah Franklin, all future major leaguers. Garcia finished third in the Appalachian League in average behind Pat Dando and Paul Russo. Garcia led the league's first basemen with a .989 fielding percentage.
For the 1991 Columbia Mets, the 19-year-old batted .255/~.306/.330. Back with Columbia the next year, he improved significantly, producing at a .290/.365/.369 rate and stealing 35 bases in 46 tries. He led the South Atlantic League with 11 sacrifice flies and was close to the top 10 in average. In steals, he was well behind team leader Veras in number (66) though he had a much better steal rate (76.1 versus 65.3).
Omar starred for the 1993 St. Lucie Mets, batting .322/.393/.404 with 25 steals (in 33 tries), 7 triples, 73 runs and 76 RBI. He had a better average than any of his teammates, including Edgardo Alfonzo, in fact leading the entire Mets organization. His 156 hits led Mets farmhands. Omar was third in the Florida State League in average behind Doug Radziewicz and Chris Demetral. Chris Weinke beat him out for All-Star honors at first base.
In 1994, the Puerto Rican infielder dazzled for the Binghamton Mets (.358/.407/.508 in 64 games) but was less successful in his AAA debut with the Norfolk Tides (.242/.295/.300 in 67 games). Had he qualified, he would have easily paced the Eastern League in average.
Garcia hit .310 for the Mayaguez Indians in the winter of 1994-1995 and his 13 steals were close to Puerto Rican League leader Ray Durham. Garcia split 1995 again between Binghamton (10 for 19, 4 BB, 13 total bases) and Norfolk (.309/.336/.412, 7 triples). His combined average of .318 led the Mets farm system, the second time in three years he had accomplished that feat. Garcia finished 8th in the International League in batting average. The Rio Piedras native played for the National League in the 1995 AAA All-Star Game and was the only member of his team to play the whole game; he was 0 for 3 with an error. He was not called up to the Mets, who had Rico Brogna at first.
The veteran signed with the Atlanta Braves chain for 1996 and hit a disappointing .264/.285/.357. That practically ended his career in the affiliated minor leagues though his baseball career was less than half over.
In 1996-1997, Garcia hit .324 for the Arecibo Wolves, second in the Puerto Rican League behind Roberto Alomar and beating out many major leaguers. Joining Mexico's Poza Rica Oilers, Omar batted .336/.391/.423 with 7 triples. He was 11th in the Mexican League in average.
Garcia had his best winter in 1997-1998, when he batted .375 for Arecibo, leading the Puerto Rican League by .045 over Luis Lopez. He also paced the loop with 95 hits and his 21 doubles were two behind leader Ivan Cruz. He spent most of the 1998 campaign in the Mexican League, hitting .276/.342/.312 between two clubs. He also briefly was with the Indianapolis Indians, going 7 for 17 with a walk and a home run.
In 1998-1999, Garcia hit .316, 6th in the Puerto Rican League. It is unclear where he spent most of the summer; he was 9 for 30 for the Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds. Omar was in Mexico for most of 2000, producing a a .331/.383/.511 rate for the Veracruz Eagle with 86 runs and 93 RBI. After not homering in 867 prior at-bats in Mexico, he slammed 20 homers in 2000, close to the total from his first 11 minor league campaigns. In a high-octane league, he was not even in the top 25 in average. He also played 15 games for the Somerset Patriots, hitting .400 with 4 long balls.
Still only 29 years old, Garcia hit .306 and slugged .536 for the Bayamon Cowboys in 2000-2001. He was 9th in the Puerto Rican League in average and his 7 homers were 3 shy of the lead. In 2001, Omar batted .282 with 13 homers and 75 RBI between two Mexican League clubs. He hit .273 with 7 home runs in 139 AB for Bayamon in 2001-2002.
Garcia was with Veracruz for 2002 and batted .304 with 19 home runs and 80 RBI. In the 2002-2003 winter, Omar hit .305 for Bayamon to place 9th in the Puerto Rican League. His 15 doubles paced the circuit. He played in the 2003 Caribbean Series, batting .320. He hit .324 between two Mexican League outfits in the summer of '03.
In 2003-2004, Garcia batted .323 and slugged .609; his 10 homers were four shy of the circuit lead. He split the summer between the Nashua Pride (.278/.344/.352), the Macoto Cobras (7 for 29, 2 BB, 4 2B), the Monclova Steelers (7 for 24, 4 BB, 2B, HR) and the San Luis Potosi Cactus Pear Growers (.274/.333/.440).
It is unclear where Garcia played, if anywhere, in the summer of 2005 - he does not appear to have been active in the minor leagues (including Mexico and the independent leagues), Taiwan, Japan, Italy or South Korea.
Garcia once again challenged for a batting title come the winter of 2005-2006, hitting .361 for Arecibo, second in the Puerto Rican League, though well behind leader Luis Figueroa. The rest of the top 8 were Tike Redman, Javier Valentin, Reggie Willits, Randy Ruiz, Gabriel Martinez and Alex Cora.
Garcia hit .400/.455/.600 as Puerto Rico's DH in the 2006 Americas Qualifier for the 2008 Olympics. He just missed the tournament's top 10 in average though Puerto Rico did not come close to qualifying for the Olympics. Omar split 2007 between the Camden Riversharks (2 for 6, 2 BB) and the Road Warriors (.259/.328/.346).
- 1990-2008 Baseball Almanacs
- KT Choi's CPBL Database
- Chinese Wiki Baseball
- Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros
- 1991, 1995 and 2005 Baseball Guides
- 1995 AAA All-Star Game box score
- Defunct IBAF site