Giants Top Catching Prospect Talks His Big 2017 Season, Learning From Posey

The Giants are set at catcher. That hasn't been questioned since Buster Posey took over for Bengie Molina in 2010. But for the first time in years, a future piece has emerged behind Posey. 

Aramis Garcia, 25, is the Giants' No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America and No. 7 in MLB Pipeline's rankings. He showed why at two levels in 2017. 

"I think it was best year stat wise," Garcia said Thursday on the Murph & Mac Show, in what he said was his first radio interview.

Garcia said his biggest focus last season was driving the ball more often. That resulted in 17 home runs in 103 games. The former second-round draft pick started off the season in Single-A San Jose where he hit all 17 of his homers. With the San Jose Giants, Garcia slashed .272/.314/.497. He also drove in 65 runs and belted 20 doubles. 

Those numbers prompted a call-up to Double-A Richmond, where most hitters struggle. 

"When I got to Richmond I just tried to continue playing my game," Garcia said. "It was a little bit of an adjustment phase. But I feel like I was able to adjust quickly and I finished the year strong."

In the final 22 games of the season, Garcia did not hit another home run, yet his batting average rose to .282 and his on-base percentage to .360. Now in big-league camp with the Giants in spring training, Garcia is soaking up every moment to learn around Posey. 

"Honestly, I just think he's just one of the guys and it's awesome having him. In previous camps that I've been to, he's made it clear that whatever questions we have or anything that we need, he's there for us," Garcia said. "And I think that's awesome because he's been in the game for almost 10 years now and he's done some pretty amazing stuff.

"So, having him as a resource -- and also just getting to watch him on a day-to-day basis is an honor."

Garcia showed his power at the plate in 2017, but he's also known for his strong arm and pop time. Using Posey as a resource, however, the young catcher is focusing on another area of the elder statesman excels at. 

"He's one of the best in the big leagues at receiving pitches and getting strikes and that's something that I picked his brain on," Garcia said. He is also picking up on a tip Nick Hundley uses to be a better blocker of balls in the dirt.

When Garcia was drafted out of Florida International by the Giants in 2014, all he wanted was to play for a winner. The Giants went on to win their third World Series in five years just months later. Now, his goal is to show he can one day be a part of that winning formula. 

"I think that my way to get there [the major leagues] is just to show these guys that every time that I take the field, whatever I'm asked to do, I'm gonna do it to help this team win. And other than that, just playing my game, not trying too hard."

Learning from Posey, Hundley and others this spring in Scottsdale, Garcia is in the perfect position to gain the knowledge needed to one day help bring another ring to this team. 

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