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Top Prospect Alert - Ryan Garko

By Ben Lipson

TOP PROSPECT ALERT - Ryan Garko
 
DOB: 01/02/81, Age: 23, Height: 62, Weight: 225,
Bats: R, Throws: R.
Acquired: Cleveland Indians - 3rd Round Draft Pick 2003.

2004 Stats: (Single A - Kinston) 65 GAMES: .328 AVG, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 78 H, 44 R, .425 OBP, .609 SLG.

(Double A - Akron) 43 GAMES: .331 AVG, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 57 H, 29 R, .397 OBP, .523 SLG.

(Triple A - Buffalo) 5 GAMES: .350 AVG, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 7 H, 2 R, .391 OBP, .400 SLG

 
Ryan Garko. Remember that name because you will soon be hearing a lot of the 23 year old Stanford University product. After a storied career with the Cardinal, Garko, Cleveland's third round pick in the 2003 draft, spent the 2004 season blazing through the Indians farm system, starting the year in Kinston, getting midseason call up to Akron and finally ending the year in Buffalo.

In 2004, Garko hit a combined .330 with 22 Homers and 99 RBI's in just 430 at-bats. For an encore Garko has dominated the Arizona Fall League thus far leading the league in Home Runs (4) and RBI's (16) while batting a robust .370 through the leagues first 15 games.

Despite his offensive prowess Garko may find it tough to crack the Cleveland lineup early on. Standing in his way are All-star catcher Victor Martinez and first baseman Travis Hafner who is coming off a career year. If Garko has a hot spring I would expect the Indians to find a place for him in the lineup as a DH, but he may also be shuffled between Cleveland and Triple-A Buffalo during the early part of the season.

When he does earn an opportunity to play everyday in the majors, expect Garko to shine. All the kid does is hit, and he has the potential to be an all-star caliber player in the big leagues. I would highly recommend taking Garko with a late round pick in all fantasy baseball leagues.


 

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