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 65 of 286. Stay tuned.
Stone Garrett is a 6’2″, 195 lb. right-handed outfielder from Sugar Land, Texas. Born on November 22nd, 1995, the Miami Marlins chose him in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Entry Draft with the 227th overall selection out of George Ranch High School.
Of the 54 players chosen 227th overall, 12 have eventually made it as far as the major leagues. Mike Lamb (1997, Texas Rangers, 4.0 career WAR), Bryan Clark (1974, Pittsburgh Pirates, 3.2 WAR), and Ken Schrom (1973, Minnesota Twins, 2.7 WAR) are the most prolific.
Garrett signed with the Miami Marlins for a $162,400 bonus and reported to the rookie-level GCL Marlins, in the Gulf Coast League. In 40 games, he slashed .236/.269/.270, with 11 RBI and only four extra base hits (including no homers). In the outfield, he made five errors in 49 total chances for an .898 fielding percentage.
In 2015, Garrett led the New York-Penn League with 11 home runs, 46 RBI, and a .581 slugging percentage playing for the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs. In 58 games, he hit .297/.352/.581, but struck out 60 times. He was better defensively due to the Muckdogs concentrating on keeping him in one position, in center field, and responded with a .965 fielding percentage. He was named the Marlins Minor League Player of the Year, and completed the season as the number four prospect in the system.
2016 would see Garrett lead the Austrailian Baseball League with seven home runs in 39 games (the ABL runs for 40, but the Sydney Blue Sox only played 39). Back stateside, while assigned to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, Garrett slashed .244/.303/.450 in 35 games. He struck out in 47-of-143 plate appearances, but his 15 extra base hits sweetened the pot. In early June, teammate and fellow top prospect Josh Naylor wounded Garrett with a knife as part of a “prank.” I guess it was the old “Stab Your Friend in the Hand Prank.”
"Marlins prospect Stone Garrett “was not a willing participant” in a prank pulled by fellow prospect Josh Naylor that left him with a knife wound in his right thumb, his agency said in a statement on Tuesday. – SI Wire"
Garrett needed surgery to repair the damage. Reactivated on August 16th to complete his single-A season, Garrett clearly wasn’t feeling himself. In 17 games, he hit just 10-for-66 with one double and one homer.
Despite his seeming regression the Miami Marlins promoted the-then number eight organizational prospect Garrett to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League for the 2017 season. In a career-high 94 contests, he slashed .212/.257/.314 with four home runs and 29 RBI. Garrett struck out 126 times in 373 plate appearances, or 33.8 percent of the time. Defensively, he earned a .980 fielding percentage, playing in at least 149 2/3 innings in each outfield position. According to the MLB.Pipeline:
"Garrett still needs to tighten his approach and improve his pitch recognition, as cutting down his strikeouts and continuing to increase his walk rate will only make him more dangerous at the plate."
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Garrett’s 2017 wasn’t enough for the Marlins to consider moving him up another level, so he repeated the high-A level with the Hammerheads in 2018. Much better in a 64 game sample, Garrett slashed .243/.280/.371 with five homers and 30 RBI, but still struck out 32 percent of the time. On April 14th, Garrett hit a single and two home runs for four RBI in an 18-13 slugfest victory over the Daytona Tortugas. On August 14th, in a 5-4 10-inning win over the Dunedin Blue Jays, Garrett hit a single, a double, and a triple with one RBI.
Expectation for Garrett has dropped in the last two seasons, starting with the knife incident. No longer considered a top prospect, the still 22-year-old may begin the 2019 season with the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, in the Southern League. With further work to cut down his strikeout rate, he could make a late-season appearance with the Marlins, but it’s more likely going to happen no earlier than late-2020, if at all.
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