Stone Garrett, CF
A Short Season
Monthly Stats: 26-90 (.289), 5 HR, 3 3B, 5 2B, 20 RBI, 31/5 K/BB
If there is any truth to the adage, “first impressions are everything”, this kid must have the Marlins’ front office convinced that he is a future Hall of Famer.
Miami’s eighth round draft pick from 2014, Stone Garrett has taken the New York Penn League by storm in his second year as a pro, leading it in every major stat category. While the eighth rounder playing like a first rounder so soon in his career may come as a bit of a shock to most of us, it comes as par for the course for those who knew him in his high school days. As a standout at George Ranch High School in Sugarland, Texas, Garrett put together a sweet career, earning first team underclassman honors in 2012 and 2013 and All-Region first team as well as first team All-American honors in his senior year, a campaign in which he boasted a .398 BA and a .461 OBP. The center fielder also flashed good speed all year long and showcased it to potential suitors when he ran a 6.47 60 yard dash in a Perfect Game event at Petco Park in the days leading up to the draft. However, being the best player on a great team has it’s downfalls, especially near the end of the season when scouts are most present. Because of his level of play, Garrett rarely saw quality pitches or many pitches at all on the inner half. Pitching him away with breaking stuff, teams had Garrett, who is a very patient hitter but can press when frustrated, a testament to his young age, had him flailing his long arms and missing a lot as the season dragged on. Because of this, teams shied away from Garrett which allowed the potential first through third rounder fall to the discounted price of the eighth round. That’s where the Marlins were waiting to snag him with pick 227. And they are undoubtedly very glad they did.
This season with Batavia, Garrett is showing his true potential by completely mashing NYPL pitching. Standing from a rock-solid straight away stance, the 6’2″ specimen imposes fear in the opposing pitcher. That fear is justified when Garrett swings the bat. Using a small front foot trigger, he drives through the ball with improved action in his lower body and snap in his hips, an area of focus for the Batavia coaching staff in the days leading up to the start of short season. The strength in Garrett’s hands and the way the ball explodes off his barrel are nothing short of prodigious. A look at his spray chart, his .561 slugging percentage and .270 ISO back that assertion perfectly.
The 19-year-old also rounds the bases and covers ground in the outfield with plus speed. He has stolen 8 bases this year and made some difficult plays look easy in the outfield. The one area of his game that has fallen off in his transition to the bigs is his patience. Whereas there was rarely a game in which he didn’t walk in high school, he has took a turn towards the more prototypical power hitter by posting a .259 BB/K. Again though, Garrett has amazing instincts. Maturation itself will ease some of that pain and coaching should do the rest. With proper grooming, Garrett could turn in to a top prospect by the time he arrives in South Florida.
The bottom line: Garrett is a sizable 6’2″ 195 pounder who is absolutely mashing NYPL pitching in his second year as a pro, leading his league in homers and slugging. Plus speed also has him leading the NYPL in triples and in the top seven in doubles. He also covers all the necessary ground and then some in the outfield. He has transitioned beautifully from high school to the bigs with most of his assets coming to fruition in less than two short seasons. The biggest and quite possibly only hole in his game is the fact that he has taken a turn for the worse when it comes to patience. A lot of that though can be attributed to a 19-year-old mind going up against this level of talent with just 337 at bats under his belt and should be easily ironed out as he progresses. Garrett has great instincts, a beautiful swing, and all the raw tools and talent in the world necessary to allow him to climb top prospect leader boards everywhere as he matures. We are excited as this should be a fun one to watch.
I’m not certain how Garrett dropped so far in the draft and bypassed a full scholarship to Rice University but this is a real good pick for the Marlins. I’ve witnessed about 10 of his games and the ball exits off his bat like a laser. At 6’2″ and 195 lbs he is fast for his size and covers a lot of ground. As mentioned if he cuts down on his strikeouts he has a bright future. Check the stats for past Marlins in the NYPL at age 19 and nobody compares what he is doing. Let’s hope the Marlins continue to develop him into something special.