Milwaukee Brewers Sign Outfielder Cole Garner

By Michael Terrill
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed outfielder Cole Garner to a minor-league contract. The Brewers are determined to add more depth to the position as the move came one day after the organization signed outfielder Rene Tosoni.

The Colorado Rockies selected Garner in the 26th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. He has worked his way up through the minors the right way from 2005 to the present by playing at every level.

Garner finally caught his break in 2011 when he made his Major League debut with the Rockies on July 4. He played in four games in which he posted a .222 batting average, three runs batted in and six strikeouts in nine plate appearances. Unfortunately, he was optioned back to Triple-A for not having good enough numbers.

The New York Yankees signed the 28-year-old to a minor-league contract before the start of the 2012 season and even invited him to spring training. Last year in Triple-A he had a .258 batting average, six home runs, 25 RBIs, 13 doubles, one triple and struck out 75 times in 236 at-bats.

It is unclear what the future holds for Garner in the Brewers organization, as he will most likely never get to the professional level unless enough injuries take place in order for him to make the jump. Milwaukee simply has too many talented outfield prospects. Not to mention, Garner’s age will certainly become a factor at some point.

Of course, there is the chance that Garner plays at such a high level that Milwaukee makes him a call up towards the end of the 2013 regular season. Garner batted .330 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 2011, which is proof that he is capable of being a contact hitter. He also displayed great power in 2010 at the Triple-A level when he batted .304 with 13 home runs, 61 RBIs and 31 doubles. If Garner can somehow combine these two seasons into one then there is a good chance he will play at Miller Park one day.

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