SHREVEPORT, La. - The Shreveport-Bossier Captains' championship season has yielded its first "casualty," as the Atlanta Braves organization, busy with their playoff series against the San Francisco Giants, has purchased the contract of first baseman/designated hitter Christopher Garcia today. He will report to Minor League Spring Training at Disney World in March.
The 22-year-old Garcia finished second in the American Association in batting average for the second year in a row, this time hitting .383, a new career high. He also set career highs with 14 home runs and 90 RBIs, good for fourth in RBIs in the league. He also led the Captains in all three categories.
Garcia also continued to get on base, leading the league with a .501 on-base percentage, and finishing fourth with 76 walks. He started the season by reaching base safely in the first 41 games of the season.
During the playoffs, the Captains' number-3 hitter was a key contributor, hitting .333 with five RBIs in the eight postseason games.
"Chris has matured so much this season both on and off the field and he definitely deserves this opportunity," Captains manager Ricky VanAsselberg said. "He's got a great chance to make a club and while I hope it's our loss next season I know he can really help one of the Braves' farm teams."
The lefty-swinger from Brooklyn also excelled in the midsummer classic in Wichita, Kan., finishing second in the home run derby and then winning All-Star Game MVP honors, after going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and a home run in his first at-bat. He was also named the league's batter of the week for the week of July 27-August 2.
In addition to his hitting, Garcia also played a solid first base- committing no errors during the regular season.
"I want to thank everyone with the Captains and all the great fans in Shreveport-Bossier for my time there in the last two years," Garcia said. "Winning the championship was something I'll never forget and everyone there has helped me become a better person and baseball player."
Garcia began his career in the Angels organization in 2007, spending two years in Rookie ball where he hit well over .300. After joining the Captains in June, he also spent the final week of the 2009 season with New Jersey of the Atlantic League for the Jackals' playoff run, hitting .318 in six games. Should Garcia not make one of the Braves' clubs out of Spring Training, his rights within the American Association revert to the Captains, as was the case in 2010, when he was signed by the Pirates after the regular season but did not make a club during Spring Training.
The 2010 American Association Champion Shreveport-Bossier Captains thank all of the people who made the 2010 regular season such a success. Check back at the team's official Web site www.sbcaptains.com for the 2011 schedule and any other off-season news as develops. For information on 2011 tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the Captains, check out the Web site as well, or call the Fair Grounds Field office at (318) 636-5555.