Ryan Garko
FameRank: 4

"Ryan Francis Garko" is a former professional baseball outfielder, first baseman, and designated hitter. In college, he was a catcher. He has played for the Cleveland Indians, the San Francisco Giants, and the Texas Rangers (baseball)/Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball as well as the Samsung Lions in the Korean Baseball Organization. Garko is seen by former ESPN reporter John Sickels as a good hitter who hits to all parts of the field, but with poor defensive instincts. Through 2010, he has a .275 career average, 427 hits, 55 home runs, and 250 RBI in 463 games.

When he attended Stanford University, Garko won the Johnny Bench Award and was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year his senior (education)/senior year. He was also voted onto the College World Series Legends Team, featuring 28 of the best College World Series players as voted upon by fans, writers, and Manager (baseball)/head coaches. During his time in the Cleveland Indians' organization, Garko was converted into a first baseman. In 2006, Baseball America ranked him as the fifth best prospect in the Indians organization, including being the best at hitting for batting average/average.

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The great thing about being in the major league camp is that you get to face more major league pitchers, which helps you learn how they go about trying to get outs. I also like being here because it gives me a chance to see how the veterans get ready for the season. It's not about being ready to play on March 15, it's about getting yourself ready for opening day.

I feel like an infielder now. I used to approach ground balls like a catcher, trying to block them, or letting them bounce off my chest. Now I'm using my feet, and moving around like an infielder. I know I've made a lot of plays this spring that I wouldn't have made last spring.

I was here last year, and I saw it then. It's a lot of young prospects, and we're so accessible. If you collect autographs, it's the best scenario because there are no crowds and it's quiet.

My goal is to be an everyday player at the major league level. As much as I like catching, that was not going to happen as a catcher. So I'm all in favor of the switch.

I just want to show them that if something happens in April, I?m a guy they can call upon. I want to show them I have a good work ethic and I can handle the position.

I feel confident now that I can catch at the big league level. I know everyone's always said, 'His bat's ready, but where is he going to play?' But I think I can catch. Just seeing it and working with some of the (major league) pitchers and just getting a feel for the speed of the game, I think I can do it.

That's real unusual, but I thought Ted had real good stuff and just kind of lost it for a while. Sometimes that can happen. In a close ballgame like that, we were fortunate to get that off him.