SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite the enviable catching depth in their organization, the Giants added another backstop to the mix by selecting Aramis Garcia out of Florida International University with the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.
Turtle Thomas, Florida International's head coach, has compared Garcia to Charles Johnson, who made two All-Star teams and won four Gold Gloves during his 1994-2005 Major League career. If Thomas is accurate, Garcia would be a welcome complement to Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez and Triple-A receiver Andrew Susac.
The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Garcia is a right-handed batter whose hitting, many talent evaluators believe, exceeds his defense. In 45 games, Garcia, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 220 pounds, hit .368 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. He also recorded a .442 on-base percentage and a .626 slugging percentage.
"Right now, you're buying more of the present bat than present defense," a crosschecker for an American League team told Baseball America. "And he's got raw power in batting practice, you're banking on the power to come. Yes, he has a line-drive stroke. For me, he's best to right-center -- not much pull in the game."
Like Posey, Garcia is said to have impeccable character. The Miami Herald reported earlier this year that Garcia maintained a 3.75 grade-point average as a sports and fitness major. Posey had a 4.0 GPA as a finance major in spring 2007 at Florida State University and made the dean's list in two other semesters.
Praising Garcia to the Herald, Thomas said, "He's as good a kid as I've seen in 37 years of coaching -- a spectacular young man."