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Pirates Purchase Garcia From Captains

December 4, 2009 - American Association (AA) - Shreveport-Bossier Captains News Release

SHREVEPORT, La. - For the first time in three seasons, a Fair Grounds Field alum has been picked up by a major league organization, as the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased the rights of infielder Christopher Garcia from the Shreveport-Bossier Captains today.

Garcia, a 22-year-old whose.361 average in 77 games with Shreveport-Bossier in 2009 was second in the American Association in hitting, will report to Minor League Spring Training with Pittsburgh in February. Garcia also had five homers and 52 RBIs for the Captains this season.

The lefty-swinging New Yorker did not join manager Ricky VanAsselberg's squad until June 1, but he made an immediate impact, reaching base safely in 27 of his first 28 games. He then settled into the number three spot in the batting order, and was a big part of the Captains' second-half playoff push.

"I hate to lose a guy who can swing the bat like Chris can," VanAsselberg said. "But at his age and with his ability level, he might be able to really climb up the Pirates organization, and he definitely deserves a shot."

After shuffling around from second base to third base to designated hitter, Garcia found his footing in the field as well, making just one error in 24 games as the Captains' first baseman.

Garcia becomes the third Shreveport-Bossier independent player to be sold to a Major League club, joining Nick Corbeil and Coby Smith, both signed in 2006. Smith has played in both double-A and triple-A with the Angels organization in the last three years.

"This is just another sign that professional baseball is on the upswing here," Captains VP/GM Craig Brasfield said. "The Captains made tremendous strides on the field in 2009, and it shows when Major League clubs are interested in our players. We are thrilled for Chris and his family that he gets this opportunity and we wish him all the best."

Garcia began his career in the Angels organization in 2007, spending two years in Rookie ball where he hit well over.300. He also spent the final week of the season in 2009 with New Jersey of the Atlantic League for the Jackals' playoff run, hitting.318 in six games. Should Garcia not make one of the Pirates' clubs out of Spring Training, his rights within the American Association revert to the Captains.

The Shreveport-Bossier Captains will release the 2010 schedule in the coming days. Check back at the team's official Web site for any other off-season news as it develops. For information on 2010 tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the Captains, check out the Web site as well, or call the Fair Grounds Field office at (318) 636-5555.

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