Greg Joseph Garcia
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.
- School University of Hawaii at Manoa
- High School Valhalla High School (El Cajon)
- Debut April 28, 2014
He hit .312/.415/.409 as a college freshman then slumped to .265/.349/.385 as a sophomore, starting at shortstop. He did lead the Western Athletic Conference with five triples. As a junior in 2010, he did much better offensively (.358/.438/.505, 45 R in 62 G). He again hit five triples, tying for the WAC lead; he was named All-Conference at shortstop. He formed a double play combo with Kolten Wong, who would later be his major league teammate. The St. Louis Cardinals took him in the 7th round of the 2010 amateur draft, one round after John Gast and one round before Daniel Bubona.
Greg made his pro debut with the Johnson City Cardinals, hitting .286/.363/.418 with 49 runs in 58 games and mostly manning second base. He was 7 for 15 in the playoffs as Johnson City won the Appalachian League title. He led the league's second basemen in fielding (.985) and was second to Ramon Morla in runs scored. He split 2011 between the Quad Cities River Bandits (.273/.360/.353 in 46 G) and Palm Beach Cardinals (.290/.400/.419 in 59 G).
Garcia improved in 2012, with the Springfield Cardinals (.284/.408/.420, 80 BB, 10 HR, 81 R). He tied for the Texas League playoff lead with six RBI. For the regular season, he led TL shortstops in assists (425) and twin killings (92), again forming a double play duo with Wong. He was third in the TL in walks (behind Jonathan Singleton and Conner Crumbliss), was 4th in runs and was third in OBP (after Jermaine Curtis and Crumbliss). Jurickson Profar beat him out as the TL All-Star shortstop. Among Cardinals minor leaguers, he led in walks (two ahead of Mike O'Neill), was 4th in runs (between Nick Martini and Wong) and ranked 4th in OBP (after O'Neill, Curtis and Colin Walsh).
Making it to AAA with the Memphis Redbirds in 2013, he split duties at shortstop with Ryan Jackson and backed up Wong at 2B and Curtis at 3B. He hit .271/.377/.384 and stole 14 bases in 16 tries. He tied Elian Herrera for 5th in the 2013 PCL with 10 sacrifice hits. He opened 2014 well with Memphis (.267/.357/.535, 5 HR in 21 G) and was called up to The Show when Wong was sent down, in an unusual twist involving long-time teammates. In his major league debut on April 28th, he pinch-hit for Pat Neshek in a 3-3 game with the Milwaukee Brewers and one out in the 7th. He drew a walk from Tyler Thornburg but was stranded. he only went to bat 14 times in as many games with the Cards, hitting .143, but he hit .272 in 106 games at Memphis. In 2015, he again spent the bulk of the season in AAA, hitting .294/.391/.364 in 94 games. He did not hit a single long ball in the minors, but in 39 big league games, during which he had only 75 at-bats, he hit two, to go along with a .240 average. His first major league homer came on June 26th against Pedro Strop of the Chicago Cubs as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 8th; his solo shot tied the game at 2-2 and the Cards went on to win, 3-2, in extra innings. The Cardinals had the best record in the majors that year and Garcia was on the postseason roster. He was used three times as a pinch-hitter in the Division Series against the Cubs, but went 0 for 3 with a strikeout.
Garcia was the beneficiary of injuries to veteran infielders Jhonny Peralta and Ruben Tejada which allowed him to make the Cardinals' opening day roster in 2016. On April 8th, he helped the Cardinals set a major league record when he hit a pinch homer off John Gant in the 9th inning of a 7-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. He was the third Cardinals pinch-hitter to go deep in the game, following Jeremy Hazelbaker in the 7th and Aledmys Diaz in the 8th, something which had never been done before. He went 6 for 10 over the first two-weeks of the season, but when the veteran Tejada was ready to return on April 18th, he was the one who paid the price, as he was sent back to Memphis in order to get regular playing time.
- 2014 Cardinals Media Guide
- The Baseball Cube
- Joe Trezza and Sean Collins: "Garcia celebrates his late grandfather: Notebook: O'Neill's hot bat keeps him in starting lineup vs. Royals", mlb.com, May 22, 2018.