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Luis Garcia, an 18-year-old shortstop signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in July 2017 out of the Dominican Republic, was named by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Gulf Coast League.
In their latest issue, displaying Shohei Ohtani on the cover, the respected baseball bi-weekly publication ranked the top 10 prospects in each of the six short-season and rookie minor leagues.
Garcia was awarded the top spot in the GCL following his first season playing in the United States. Garcia slashed .369/.433/.488 over 187 plate appearances across 43 games while playing for the “Phillies West” squad. He also knocked in 32 runs, scored 33 times, and swiped a dozen bags.
In writing up the GCL rankings, Ben Badler of Baseball America described Garcia as follows:
“…a smooth, graceful defender at shortstop with quick feet, great hands and a plus arm. He has the ability to make the flashy barehanded play, though unlike a lot of young shortstops, Garcia also makes smart decisions in the field and plays under control. While there was a split camp among scouts on Garcia’s hitting ability as an amateur, he showed a mature hitting approach from both sides in the GCL.”
In the issue, BA also included two more Phillies prospects in their rankings. The club’s 2018 top draft pick, Williamsport Crosscutters third baseman Alec Bohm, was rated the #8 prospect in the New York-Penn League. Williamsport catcher Rafael Marchan was ranked #12.
Garcia was ranked #14 in our Phillies Nation Top 20 Phillies Prospects list released back in early August. We rated Bohm as the second-best prospect in the entire farm system behind only pitcher Sixto Sanchez.
MLB.com also currently ranks the 22-year-old Bohm as second with Garcia at #14 among their Phillies top prospects. On Garcia, the MLB scouting report states:
“One of the bigger things that stood out was Garcia’s glove at shortstop. He has plus range, excellent hands and good footwork, with a plus arm that really stands out. Given that he’s just 17 for all of the 2018 season, there are obvious strength gains that will need to occur, but there’s confidence that will come as he starts to mature.”
Garcia is just beginning his minor league development, but he is off to a fantastic start. If he continues to develop as hoped, Phillies fans are still not likely to see him at Citizens Bank Park much before the 2022 season.
PHILLIES NATION MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
- Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs: RHP Cole Irvin
- Double-A Reading Fightin’ Phils: LHP JoJo Romero
- High-A Clearwater Threshers: OF Jose Pujols
- Low-A Lakewood BlueClaws: RHP Zach Warren
- Short-season Williamsport Crosscutters: OF Ben Pelletier