Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part six…of 286. Stay tuned.
Garvis Jose Lara is a 6’1″, 175 lb. shortstop from Bani, DR. Born on May 19th, 1996, the lefty batting, righty thrower was signed through the Miami Marlins International free agency program in 2013 for $100,000.
Very few players from each season’s Dominican Summer League squad ever eventually get a taste of the major leagues, somewhere between two-to-five percent. The expectation for these players is somewhere on the order of low-risk, high-reward. Lara’s chances at major league success are slim.
Defensively, Lara has appeared in 126 minor league games at shortstop, and has made 49 errors for a .919 fielding percentage, with a range factor of 4.61. Although Lara appeared at the position for all but two games through his first four seasons, this past year he has also spent time at the other three positions around the diamond, mostly at second base (43 games).
After signing, Lara made his debut with the DSL Marlins in 2014. He slashed out a .237/.293/.311 line, with six doubles, five triples, and 17 RBI. He stole eight-of-16 bases, and struck out 54 times to only 14 walks.
Lara joined the GCL Marlins after a lateral promotion in 2015, and slashed .281/.336/.349 in 53 games at the domestic rookie-level. This time, he was more selective when stealing bases, making it on 13-of-15 attempts. He also had three doubles, five triples, 16 RBI, and 17 walks versus 41 strikeouts. According to the MLB Pipeline prior to the 2016 season:
"Lara stands out at shortstop for his athleticism and range, with the latter being attributed to his instincts and his quick first step as much as his above-average speed. He showcases plus arm strength across the infield, and his throwing accuracy should improve with cleaner footwork and better body control.Lara has a simple left-handed swing that allows him to make consistent contact and utilize the entire field, and he began working on switch-hitting in 2015 at the organization’s request. There’s a long road ahead of him, but he shows the early makings of a possible everyday shortstop."
At that point, Lara was the Marlins’ 15th ranked prospect, and after nine games for the Batavia Muckdogs, he was suspended for the balance of the season. His short stay at short-A ball would see him go two-for-31 with 11 K’s.
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In 2017, Lara made his debut with the middle-A level Greensboro Grasshoppers, in the South Atlantic League. Limited to just 20 games, he was 14-for-60 with two homers and five RBI. He also stole eight bases in nine tries.
Due to small sample size of Lara’s season with the Hoppers, he repeated the level in 2018. Over 82 games, he slashed .217/.278/.345 with 17 doubles, two triples, and four homers, with 29 RBI. Strikeouts were still a problem, with 74 in 286 plate appearances, just over a quarter of the time. He had his good days too, with 10 multi-hit games. On May 10th, he hit a double and a homer with two RBI in a 9-3 loss to the Asheville Tourists.
I don’t know what the Miami Marlins’ standard is for holding on to prospects with Lara’s developmental level, but frankly, it looks a little grim. If the Marlins choose to retain his services, he would likely repeat the single-A level with the Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League.
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