High Class A Clearwater's Harold Garcia began the season on the disabled list and did not get going until May 16. But the 23-year-old second baseman from Venezuela sure has made up for lost time. Garcia is batting .340 for the season, which would rank him third in the Florida State League batting race if he qualified, and yesterday he extended his hitting streak to 31 games. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI triple in the Threshers' 7-3 win against Dunedin.
During his hit streak, Garcia has batted .355/.396/.524 (44-for-124) with two homers, 11 doubles and two triples. He's taken a swing-first mentality throughout, drawing just six walks compared with 29 strikeouts.
Garcia might be on to something, though, seeing as the FSL hitting-streak record appears to be well within his grasp. The notorious pitcher's circuit has nipped many rallies in the bud, and the standard for consecutive games with a hit remains 36, attained by Daytona Beach's Joe Altobelli in 1951.
Incidentally, Phillies outfielder Quintin Berry hit in 30 consecutive games in 2008 when he played for Clearwater.
• Center fielder Brett Jackson, the Cubs' first-round pick in ’09, tamed the Florida State League and could be on his way to doing the same in the Double-A Southern League. The 21-year-old has homered in his first two games for Tennessee, going 4-for-10 with three RBIs overall. For high Class A Daytona, Jackson batted a robust .316/.420/.517 in 263 at-bats. His intriguing power/speed blend produced six homers, 19 doubles, eight triples and a 12-for-19 showing on the bases. Jackson left the FSL as its leader in extra-base hits (33), walks (43) and runs scored (56).
• Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores has, apparently, welcomed the challenge of playing in the FSL. After going 3-for-5 yesterday for St. Lucie, the 18-year-old has collected hits in four of five games since his promotion from low Class A Savannah. While he has yet to record an extra-base hit, he has struck out just twice in 22 FSL at-bats. Flores trailed off badly for Savannah in June, going just 14-for-71 (.197), but he still managed to bat .278/.342/.433 with seven home runs in 277 at-bats for the Sand Gnats. Not bad for a teenager in the South Atlantic League.
• The best prospect in Triple-A who nobody seems to be talking about just might be Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Eduardo Nunez. The 23-year-old Yankees shortstop went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer yesterday, bringing his season line to .317/.362/.425 in 306 at-bats. He paces the International League with his 97 hits and .317 average.
• Righthander Michael Pineda may give Mariners fans a reason to look forward to a potential trade of Cliff Lee. Such a move could open a rotation spot for Pineda to assume later this season The 21-year-old struck out 11 Sacramento River Cats yesterday in making his second start for Triple-A Tacoma. Pineda worked six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking only one. His strikeout-to-walk ratio in Triple-A stands at 16-to-4 over 12 innings.
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