Wizards Where R They?: Shawn Garrett

When I researched and drafted up the mid-season report of Estranged Friars who are currently playing with different MLB organizations, I noticed that several had landed in the Seattle Mariners farm system. Travis Chick, Jared Wells (Wizards in 2004), Jon Huber (Wizard in 2003) are currently in that system. Chick is in West Tennessee (AA), while Wells and Huber are at Triple-A Tacoma with Shawn Garrett; another former Wizard. I missed on the original list, but after learning more, realize he makes for a great Wizards Where R They?

Garrett was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 29th round (890th overall) way back in 1997. He chose to spend one year at Olney Community College before beginning his pro ball days. His 1998 and 1999 seasons were spent in the Arizona and Pioneer Rookie Leagues before settling into the 2000 season in Fort Wayne. While with the Wizards, he appears in 123 games where he collected 119 hits (43 for extra bases), 10 home runs and 55 runs batted in over 438 at-bats. It was enough to post a respectable .272 average to go with a .341 on-base percentage.

The 2001 season saw Garrett build upon that success at Lake Elsinore, where he was batting 3.13 before being sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with RHP Shawn Camp in exchange for outfielder, Emil Brown. He hit .294 the rest of the 2001 campaign and spent all of 2002 and 2003 with Double-A Altoona and posted similar numbers; hovering right around .300 with quality at-bats that saw a rise in power and run production.

Before the start of the 2004 season, Garrett was traded to the Colorado Rockies and assigned to their Double-A squad in Tulsa. He again produced solid numbers and was promoted to their Triple-A level following an opening from the trade that sent Larry Walker to the Cardinals. In the thirty games that comprised his first Triple-A stint, Garrett posted a .371 batting average with 43 hits, 25 runs and 22 runs batted in to accompany his three home runs and .461 OBP.

Garrett became a free agent following the 2004 campaign and singed with Oakland, where he was assigned to their Triple-A Sacramento team. The 2005 season saw another good showing, falling just short of a .300 average, but producing a career high 82 runs batted in over 508 at-bats. His 111 strikeouts are also a career high.

“It was a consistent year. I was in the line-up every day. I thought (coming off this season) it was my best opportunity to make the big team” [source: Tacoma Weekly].

Garrett split the 2006 season between Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and Triple A Memphis (St. Louis), but his numbers took a serious nosedive at both locales; barely hitting .220 at either stop. The 2007 season saw a rebound of sorts while playing with Double-A Trenton (Yankees) and Double-A Birmingham (ChiSox).

2008 saw Garrett start the year with another organization at Double-A West Tennessee (Mariners). After 23 games, he was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma where he continues to make his case for big league action. In 11 seasons, he’s played in 11 different MLB organizations. He was named an All-Star in 1998, 2000 (with the Wizards), 2002, 2003, and 2004 in addition to posting consistent solid numbers, the only exception being in 2006.

On the season, Garrett is hitting .276 through July 13. He’s slugged 6 home runs and drove in 43 runs while collecting 128 total bases in 304 at-bats. His on-base percentage is hovering right around .420 and hit safely in 6 of his last 10 games.

“My little window of prospect status has come and gone . . . Now I want to do whatever I can do to help myself be a good player, plus switch hitting should help me stay in the game for awhile longer.”

Update (February 18, 2009): It appears that Garrett’s career will fall just short of reaching the pros. According to this Bloomberg article, he has retired after eleven seasons as a pro.

See Also: Shawn Garrett Bio at Ford-Mobley.com | Cougar’s in the Pros | Shawn Garrett’s MiLB Profile

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