Aramis Garcia

Giants top catching prospect talks his big 2017 season, learning from Posey


Giants top catching prospect talks his big 2017 season, learning from Posey

The Giants are set at catcher. That hasn't been questioned since Buster Posey took over for Bengie Molina in 2010. But for the first time in years, a future piece has emerged behind Posey. 

Aramis Garcia, 25, is the Giants' No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America and No. 7 in MLB Pipeline's rankings. He showed why at two levels in 2017. 

"I think it was best year stat wise," Garcia said Thursday on the Murph & Mac Show, in what he said was his first radio interview.

Garcia said his biggest focus last season was driving the ball more often. That resulted in 17 home runs in 103 games. The former second-round draft pick started off the season in Single-A San Jose where he hit all 17 of his homers. With the San Jose Giants, Garcia slashed .272/.314/.497. He also drove in 65 runs and belted 20 doubles. 

Those numbers prompted a call-up to Double-A Richmond, where most hitters struggle. 

"When I got to Richmond I just tried to continue playing my game," Garcia said. "It was a little bit of an adjustment phase. But I feel like I was able to adjust quickly and I finished the year strong."

In the final 22 games of the season, Garcia did not hit another home run, yet his batting average rose to .282 and his on-base percentage to .360. Now in big-league camp with the Giants in spring training, Garcia is soaking up every moment to learn around Posey. 

"Honestly, I just think he's just one of the guys and it's awesome having him. In previous camps that I've been to, he's made it clear that whatever questions we have or anything that we need, he's there for us," Garcia said. "And I think that's awesome because he's been in the game for almost 10 years now and he's done some pretty amazing stuff.

"So, having him as a resource -- and also just getting to watch him on a day-to-day basis is an honor."

Garcia showed his power at the plate in 2017, but he's also known for his strong arm and pop time. Using Posey as a resource, however, the young catcher is focusing on another area of the elder statesman excels at. 

"He's one of the best in the big leagues at receiving pitches and getting strikes and that's something that I picked his brain on," Garcia said. He is also picking up on a tip Nick Hundley uses to be a better blocker of balls in the dirt.

When Garcia was drafted out of Florida International by the Giants in 2014, all he wanted was to play for a winner. The Giants went on to win their third World Series in five years just months later. Now, his goal is to show he can one day be a part of that winning formula. 

"I think that my way to get there [the major leagues] is just to show these guys that every time that I take the field, whatever I'm asked to do, I'm gonna do it to help this team win. And other than that, just playing my game, not trying too hard."

Learning from Posey, Hundley and others this spring in Scottsdale, Garcia is in the perfect position to gain the knowledge needed to one day help bring another ring to this team. 

Report: New list emerges of Giants prospects that fit Marlins' bill


Report: New list emerges of Giants prospects that fit Marlins' bill

SAN FRANCISCO — The Marlins have apparently come up with a final list of Giants prospects they like, and it shows they’re aiming high. 

According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins, in discussions for Giancarlo Stanton, are focused on some combination of Tyler Beede, Chris Shaw, Heliot Ramos and Aramis Garcia, four of the Giants’ top 10 prospects. Beede, Shaw and Ramos are three of the organization’s four best prospects on most lists, and the majority of evaluators view Ramos as their top minor leaguer. According to Spencer, Joe Panik could also be part of any package. 

The inclusion of Ramos, last summer’s first-round pick, is noteworthy. The 18-year-old impressed in his first taste of professional ball and many evaluators believe he would be a top 10 pick if the draft was held again. The Giants believe Ramos can be a five-tool center fielder, with some in the organization comparing him to Yoenis Cespedes, but he is likely at least three years away from being ready for big league action. The Marlins would be smart to hold the line at Ramos, and the Giants likely would view that as a reasonable return, given Stanton’s status as the NL MVP. 

Garcia, a power-hitting catcher, is also a new name. Injuries have slowed his development and he has always been viewed as a likely trade chip since he’s permanently blocked by Buster Posey. Shaw and Beede have previously been rumored to be on the Marlins’ wish list, along with Panik, who still seems an odd choice given Dee Gordon's presence in Miami. 

There appears to be no timetable for a decision from the Marlins. Per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Stanton’s representatives were meeting with St. Louis Cardinals officials on Friday night. Those same representatives quizzed Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans on Thursday in Los Angeles

Beede, Garcia among Giants protected from Rule 5 draft


Beede, Garcia among Giants protected from Rule 5 draft

SAN FRANCISCO — A top pitching prospect highlighted the list of Giants added to the 40-man roster before Monday’s deadline. 

The Giants put right-hander Tyler Beede on their 40-man roster, along with Aramis Garcia, Tyler Herb and D.J. Snelten. The four players were protected from the Rule 5 draft, held in December on the final day of the annual Winter Meetings. To clear roster spots, the Giants designated Orlando Calixte and Micah Johnson for assignment and outrighted Dan Slania to Triple-A. 

Beede, a 24-year-old former first-round pick, likely would have ended up on the roster earlier if not for a groin injury that ended his Triple-A season early. The Giants anticipated him making a September debut, but he ended up needing time in the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost innings. Beede was sharp in the AFL once he knocked the rust off, allowing three runs over 10 innings in his final two starts. He is expected to compete for a rotation spot at some point next year, although he also stands as one of the organization’s best offseason trade chips. 

Garcia, 24, has struggled with injuries at times in the minors, but he hit 17 homers in just 402 at-bats in 2017 and earned a promotion to Double-A Richmond. Garcia is currently one of just two catchers on the 40-man roster. 

Herb was essentially the player to be named later in the Chris Heston deal. The 25-year-old had a 2.76 ERA in 10 starts for Double-A Richmond last season. Snelten is a lefty reliever who had a 2.20 ERA across two levels last season and could break into the big leagues as a bullpen weapon next year. 

The roster now stands at 40 after the churn, which included a couple of players picked up as flyers because the Giants are at the front of the waiver process. Johnson was added in October and infielder Engelb Vielma, added during the season, was claimed by the Phillies on a  waiver claim. Slania, who made his big league debut during the season, cleared waivers and joins Triple-A Sacramento’s offseason roster.