Anthony Garcia and Carlos Peguero have taken less conventional routes to St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training. Both corner outfielders are making an early impression at Cardinals camp.
Any time you take a peek at a Spring Training stat sheet, you are going to see some funky stuff. Matt Holliday is hitless, Trevor Rosenthal has a 9.00 ERA, and Dean Anna leads the St. Louis Cardinals in hitting with a .500 average.
Obviously, Spring Training numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially in just the second week of game action. Still, though, there are some intriguing numbers popping up for a couple of less-heralded Cardinal prospects.
Carlos Peguero has five hits in 11 at-bats so far this spring, including three extra-base hits. The 29-year-old left fielder was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Mariners back in 2005.
Peguero has seen action with the Mariners, Royals, Rangers and Red Sox since 2011, although his career .194/.263/.384 slash line against Major League pitching illustrates the work that Peguero still has to do. If he cuts down on the strikeouts (126 in 289 MLB at-bats), he could be a very good depth piece on the Cardinals 40-man.
Anthony Garcia has five hits (three doubles, one home run) in 14 at-bats so far this spring. He’s driven in a team-leading five runs thus far.
The 24-year-old Garcia was taken in the 18th round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In seven Minor League seasons, Garcia sports a .260/.350/.451 career slash line. Between Springfield and Memphis last year, Garcia slugged 13 home runs while driving in 64 runs.
While the Cardinal outfield seems to be pretty set heading into the regular season, both guys are making cases for opportunities at the big league level, should anybody from the Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty or Tommy Pham foursome falter or fall to injury.
I will be following Garcia and Peguero with high interest the rest of the spring. John Mozeliak has made it known that he wants as much competition among his 40-man roster as possible. Garcia and Peguero are providing exactly that.
The Cardinals are in a good place with their outfield depth. Whether either guy develops into the next Cardinal corner outfielder is still to be determined. If they continue to push the guys ahead of them, it is only a good thing for the ball club.
Stay tuned the rest of this spring to see what Peguero and Garcia do down at Cardinal camp.