Stone Garrett’s desperation for D-backs to keep playing led to power surge

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PHOENIX — Stone Garrett spent six seasons on the bus to various minor league small towns without hitting too many home runs and never getting past Triple-A.

During those six years playing in the Miami Marlins organization, 26-year-old Garret hit a total of 41 homers. He also had four seasons in which his slugging percentage was below .400.

After being released by the Marlins in 2020 — a now well-documented exchange with Dan Budreika, who had served as video coordinator with the Marlins — on professional social media LinkedIn, Garret eventually signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

And since joining the D-backs organization, Garrett has become a new player. In two seasons in the Arizona farm system, he hit 53 homers. In 105 games between Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno last season, he hit .510. In 103 games this season in Reno, he hit a whopping .568.

The outfielder’s searing power since joining the D-backs organization led to a major league call-up on Aug. 17. And while he’s yet to hit a home run in three major league games, he already has seven extra hits (four doubles, three triples) in 12 at bats.

Garrett explained Saturday why he’s had such a surge since he’s been in the Arizona system.

“Last year we were in Frisco,” Garrett said. “And the batting coaches suggested maybe finishing with two hands. So we went there and I had two home runs this series. So it’s kind of like (an) instant result when I started to finish with two hands.

“And the Diamondbacks when I came to spring training last year, they talked a lot about me if I wanted to stay here, I had to do some damage at home plate. And I just had that in my head and it was a do or die situation.

Garrett stands at 6ft 2in and said Wolf and Luke from Arizona Sports Friday that he weighs about 220 pounds. With Garrett’s size, D-backs coach Joe Mather said Saturday he thought “the power was there somewhere” when Garrett was in Miami.

Mather then echoed Garrett, saying he thinks the desire to keep playing is a reason for the power boost.

“He was almost offside,” Mather said. “I think in his mind there was little chance he would come back. I think when that happens, if you have that opportunity, you probably dive pretty deep into yourself and where you need to make adjustments. And I know that on some level he did. I don’t know how deep he was. I guess it was pretty deep.

As for Garrett’s future in MLB, Mather thinks the corner fielder can have a long career.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Mather said. “I think the other day one of the quotes with (D-backs prospect) Corbin Caroll was, ‘If you’re ready, it doesn’t matter how old you are. And I think that makes sense both ways.

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