Two Phillies teenage prospects, including one top-ten name, were named 2018 Gulf Coast League All-Stars by Minor League Baseball.
This year, Philadelphia expanded their GCL presence with two teams instead of just one. Garcia played for the West team while Aparicio played for the East. Both teams finished the year with a 30-24 record, with the East team winning the Northeast division. Aparicio and the East club lost the one-game semifinal to the GCL Cardinals, 4-1.
Garcia, who was the No. 10 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America at midseason, made his professional debut at just 17 years old. He was the team’s top signee last year with a $2.5 million bonus, and he sure got off to a hot start to his career.
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In 43 games, Garcia had a .369/.433/.488 line with one home run, 33 runs scored, 32 runs batted in, and 12 stolen bases. He struck out just 21 times and walked 15 times in 187 plate appearances. Garcia led the GCL in batting average and finished sixth in OPS and total bases. He did this all against players 2.7 years older than him on average, which is a good sign for his future at the plate.
Garcia made five errors in 159 chances, good for a .969 fielding percentage. His defense is praised by scouts with good range and a strong arm. He should be able to play the position long-term.
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Aparicio also made his stateside debut this year after spending last season in the Dominican Summer League. He was the No. 47 overall prospect in his 2016 signing class according to Baseball America, receiving a $475,000 bonus. He is an offense-first player, and he sure did plenty of hitting of his own.
In 39 games, Aparicio had a .339/.378/.518 line with three home runs, 24 runs scored, and 15 runs batted in. He did not receive enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, but if he had, he would have been fourth in batting average, sixth in slugging percentage, and 10th in OPS. He still has to work on his plate approach with a meager 3.4% walk rate and a 21.8% strikeout rate.
Behind the plate, Aparicio made two errors in 116 chances, did not allow a passed ball, and caught five of 20 potential base stealers. He is a converted third baseman, so he still has a ways to go defensively.