In this edition of Twins' Minor League Notebook, the Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rock Cats…
Garza Off To Blazing Start For Miracle
When the Twins selected Matt Garza with their first pick in the 2005 draft, they expected big things out of him. However, nobody could have seen the year he is putting together in 2006, as some are already whispering that he could be in New Britain very soon. A hard throwing right-hander, Garza's name is all over the Florida State League leader board, and is really turning some heads outside the organization.Drafted out of Fresno State University, Garza opened up his professional baseball career as a member of the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League last season. He only made four starts for E-Town before being promoted to his first taste of full-season baseball, where he made three starts for Beloit of the Midwest League.Overall, he finished the season with a 3.57 earned run average, and struck out 89 batters in 76 innings. He was also rated as the tenth best prospect in the Midwest League by Baseball America, and made the jump to High-A this season.So far in 2006, Garza has been the best pitcher in the entire Twins' farm system, as he has made Florida State League hitters look silly through his first four starts. In 18.1 innings of work this season, he has posted an ERA of 0.49, while striking out 27 against three walks. Batters are only hitting .130 against him, and he is currently 3-0. The secret to his success may his ability to pitch in the clutch, as batters are hitting only .200 against him with runners on.Within the Florida State League, Garza currently ranks second in all of the big three pitching categories, ERA (0.49), wins (3), and strikeouts (27). In a prospect laden pitching staff, Garza has emerged as the top pitcher for the Miracle, as Anthony Swarzak has been struggling to start the season. It is only a matter of time before Swarzak turns his season around, and when he does, the Miracle will have one of the best pitching staffs in the Florida State League.In his last outing, Garza pitched 6.2 innings of one-hit ball, as he struck out nine in a winning effort against Lakeland.
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