I don’t think there’s any reason to think Garko’s a future star.
The cons: He’s 25, has 65 career at-bats in the majors, and hit .247/.352/.420 in Triple-A this season. Assuming Martinez/Shoppach is the catching tandem until Vic’s contract runs out and he signs with the Yankees/Mets/Red Sox/White Sox/Dodgers/Angels (pick one), Garko’s stuck at first base. With Michaels, Sizemore, and Choo around, Casey Blake’s going to end up playing a bunch of first base. With Marte around, Blake won’t play much third. And if Kevin Kouzmanoff keeps hitting ~.380 in the minors, they’ll want to get him at-bats somewhere (3B? 1B? LF?). All of which is sort of a roundabout way to say that barring a trade, I don’t see Garko playing well enough or often enough to be considered a future star.
The pros: Before this season, the guy’s hit everywhere he’s ever been: .310/.389/.511 in two pro seasons. He’s got very good command of the strike zone. And the organization seems to think he’s a good ‘character’ guy who works hard.
On the whole, I think Garko’s got a chance to be a pretty good ballplayer if they let him, maybe something like Brian Daubach in his prime. (Which was actually pretty good…two seasons with an OPS+ over 120.) I’d be shocked if he became a star, but I see him as a .270/.340/.460 sort of guy for the next few seasons. A solid ballplayer, but nothing to freak out about.