Monday, April 28, 2014

Does the Cardinals' Greg Garcia have what it takes to start at second base?

With the demotion of Kolten Wong and the promotion of infielder Greg Garcia, fantasy baseball players everywhere were left asking the question:  Will Greg Garcia start?

Its a legitimate question, as the Cardinals other option, Mark Ellis, is currently hitting .100 (2 for 20), however, is Garcia a legitimate starting second baseman for a major league team?

Short answer--probably not, but that's not to say that Garcia doesn't have his merits.

Over 5 seasons in the minors, he has compiled a .280/.385/.411 line.  He has a little pop, with a career high 10 homers in 2012 and he can steal a base on occasion,  with 14 stolen bases in 2013.

However, what is most impressive about Garcia is his eye and ability to get on base.  In his 2012 breakout season, he drew 80 walks against 83 strikeouts finishing the year with a .408 OBP. 

His minor league stats are very similar to Ellis, who put up a .293/.393/.419 line in the minors prior to his first callup.

Best case scenario - Garcia, who hits left handed, forms a platoon with the right handed Ellis and gets the majority of the at bats while Wong sorts things out in the minors.

Worst case scenario - Garcia spends a month with the team as a pinch-hitter, defensive replacement before being sent back down to the minors when Wong is deemed ready.

While its unlikely that Garcia will make a big impact during his current stay, he could eventually replace the light-hitting and overused Daniel Descalso as the Cardinals primary utility infielder.

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