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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Garrett Gentry

By Brian Brunk

Garett Gentry: at 19 years of age this kid became the Astro’s 13th round pick in the 1999 Draft. A corner infielder for much of his baseball life, the Astro’s moved him behind the plate and have been slapping themselves on the back ever since. He made his first professional appearance with Short Season Auburn where, all things considered, he more than held his own as a 19 year old who was learning a new position. The Astro’s were immediately impressed with his maturity and work ethic. He became obsessed with improving his game behind the plate, wanting to learn all the intricacies that came with the position. His dedication and work ethic earned him a promotion to the Michigan Battle Cats, Houston’s highest A-ball affiliate, for the 2001 season.

At the beginning of the 2001 season, John Buck, a 21 year old who was drafted a year before Gentry in 1998 was regarded as Houston’s best catching prospect, not anymore. Garett Gentry has skyrocketed his way onto the Astro’s radar screen, turning heads around all of baseball and not just within the organization. During the All-Star break one scout said of Gentry "this guy could very well be the best hitting catching prospect in all the minors." Through 285 ABs his numbers stood as follows: .309 BA, .589 SLG, 52 Rs, 82 RBIs, with 14 DBLs and 20 HRs. Gentry has also shown good plate discipline with a 40/30 K/BB ratio. Look out for this guy.

Garett Gentry’s future appears to be a very bright one. His play this year will no doubt earn him a promotion to Houston’s AA affiliate next season when he will be just 21 years old. During the offseason the Astro’s acquired Brad Ausmus with the hope that he could solidify the catching position for a couple of years until Buck was ready to take over…. how things change. Although John Buck is putting up decent numbers this year (.270 BA, 500 SLG, 17 HRs) you have to take into account the fact that he’s a full year older than Gentry and playing at a lower level. Meanwhile, Brad isn’t exactly solidifying his role with the parent club after struggling for the majority of the first half and posting a miserable .205 BA. In terms of quality bats with relation to position, the catcher’s spot could very well be the hardest to fill. It doesn’t take a genius to see the value a power hitting catcher, who can also hit for average, would have at Enron Field. If Gentry continues to hit well, and I see no reason why he shouldn’t given his level of maturity and work ethic, we could very well see him get a September callup in 2002 with an opportunity to win the job outright for the 2003 season. As I mentioned earlier, look out for this guy.


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