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Friday, February 26, 2021

Butch Garcia hit well early in minors for Indians; Played across eight seasons, made AAA

Butch Garcia got off to a hot start his first year as a pro. In 60 games at short-season Batavia in 1984, Garcia hit .347 in 60 games, tops in the circuit in mid-August.

Garcia could hardly believe it, he told his hometown Tampa Tribune then.

"Sometimes it seems like a dream that I'm leading the league in hitting," Garcia told The Tribune. "I'm hitting the ball as good as I ever have."

Garcia went on from that first year to see time across eight pro seasons. He made it up to AAA, but he never made the majors.

Garcia's career began in 1984, taken by the Indians in the second round of the January draft out of Palm Beach Community College in Florida.

Garcia went to Palm Beach Community out of Hillsborough County's Leto High School. He gained notice even as a junior in 1982.

His head coach  there, Mike Notaro, praised Garcia to the Tribune that February, noting that even though he was better than his teammates, he still worked harder than anyone.

"That's special when you have a kid that knows he's better than most but can never get enough work," Notaro told The Tribune.

Garcia started with the Indians at Batavia. After that hitting display, he moved to single-A Waterloo, where he hit .259 in 113 games. 

After losing 1986 to a broken thumb, he returned to the field for 1987 with the Cubs at single-A Peoria. He hit .263, with 16 home runs.

He played 1988 at high-A Winston-Salem, then 1989 between AA Charlotte and AAA Iowa. In 47 games at Iowa, Garcia hit .195.

That April, Garcia came into a game as a late-inning replacement, then hit a three-run home run to give Iowa the lead, The Des Moines Register wrote.

"I guessed right," Garcia told The Register afterward of the home run. "I was watching (Doug) Dascenzo bat before me. (The pitcher) was having trouble getting his fastball over the plate, so I was sitting for a changeup and I got it."

He returned to Charlotte for 1990, where he got into 63 games and hit .212. He then is recorded as playing 1991 in Mexico for Union Laguna and Saltillo, marking the end of his career.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,587
Made the Majors:1,244-34.7%
Never Made Majors:2,343-65.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:517
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

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