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St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Report: Deck McGuire, Anthony Garcia and Austin Gomber

Double and triple A traveled to the Mets complex while the A level clubs took on their Mets counterparts in Jupiter. The Cards farm hands went 2-2.

Deck Mac
Deck Mac
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Editors' Note: Players, and especially pitchers, often play for multiple different spring training "farm teams" during these back field contests, depending on throw days, rest, and who management wants to see on a given day. So don't put much weight on the current rosters.

Memphis 9 - Las Vegas 3

  • Anthony Garcia (LF): 2-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, HBP
  • Jonathan Rodriguez (DH): 2-2, R, HR, RBI, 2BB
  • David Washington (1B): 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI
  • Deck McGuire: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 3K
  • Justin Wright: 1 IP, K

rb was one of the first to jump aboard the Anthony Garcia bandwagon last year, and accordingly Garcia checked in at #8 on his offseason prospect list. Garcia earned a lot of attention when he tore up both levels of short-season ball as teenager in  2010 and 2011, but his career stalled across various levels of A ball in '12, '13, '14. He fell off the radar as a prospect due to his struggles against full-season level pitching, but he had a renaissance last season. His penchant for hitting the ball in the air played much better in the parks of the Texas League and PCL than it did in A ball. His approach appeared more mature last year as well, his walk and strikeout numbers both looked much better than they had at any time since rookie ball. He was added to the 40 man this offseason and is still only 24 so he will have an opportunity to work his way into the outfield picture over the next couple years as the Cardinals try to figure out what they have with the crowd of young outfielders who are accumulating in the upper minors and the majors.

There has been some speculation from VEB readers that Deck McGuire was a made up name, so I decided to do a bit of research to confirm that this wasn't an elaborate April Fool's Day prank. McGuire was drafted 11th overall by the Blue Jays in 2010. His draft profile was somewhat similar to Lance Lynn's; power pitcher's body without the velocity to match, a diverse arsenal without a true out pitch, and he looked like a fast mover with middle-to-back of the rotation ceiling. Unlike Lynn he never found a few extra ticks in his fastball in the minors, and he has struggled to miss bats, avoid free passes and keep the ball in the park, which can be a tough combination to overcome. If you believe in Cardinals Devil Magic, they will find a hitch in his delivery or that he is tipping his pitches and he will become a reliable late-inning reliever for a few seasons.

Binghampton 4 - Springfield 0

  • Mason Katz (2B): 2-4, 2B
  • Thomas Lee: 4 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, K
  • Ryan Sherriff: 1 IP, H, K

Mason Katz looked like he might profile as a utility infielder with some pop. He didn't have a true defensive home, but his bat was his calling card at LSU. Unfortunately, he has yet to display the power in the minors he did in college. He'll need to add a third true outcome to his batting line regain prospect status.

Palm Beach 5 - St. Lucie 3
  • Collin Radack (DH): 4-5, 3B, RBI, K
  • Orlando Olivera (LF): 2-4, R
  • Mikey Reynolds (2B): 1-2, R, 3B, 2 RBI
  • Austin Gomber: 4.1 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Rowan Wick: 1 IP, 2K

Austin Gomber landed on the "other's receiving votes" portion of rb's prospect rankings. The Cardinals worked with him to add a curveball his first year as a pro, and last season he saw improvements to both his walk and strikeout numbers as he made the jump to the full-season Midwest League. His funky arm action and useful breaking ball may mean the easiest path to the big leagues may be as a left-handed reliever, but for now he remains a starter.

Rowan Wick continues his quest to become a late inning reliever/power bat off the bench.

As a 38th round pick, with an advanced draft age who is limited to LF/DH Orlando Olivera has an uphill climb. But he put up big numbers in the lowest levels of the minors last year. He's 25 so he'll need to move fast, but both the underdog and local angles (he went to Missouri Baptist in Creve Coeur) mean he'll be fun to root for.

Columbia 7 - Peoria 3

  • Eliezer Alvarez (2B): 2-4, R
  • R.J. Dennard (1B): 2-4, 2B, RBI, K
  • Pedro Echemendia: 1 IP, K
  • Jhonathan Escudero: 1 IP, K

I think R.J. Dennard's line has been included with the Peoria stats every single day, so he probably deserves some sort of blurb. Plus, I don't really know anything about any of the other guys listed above. He was drafted out of Armstrong State a round later than Orlando Olivera last June. He hit .250/.336/.363 in 140 plate appearance for State College last year.