He got a job via LinkedIn -- Major League player

August 18th, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- If LinkedIn is looking for a spokesperson, someone who can provide first-hand testimony to how the platform can open doors, they should give a call.

The D-backs outfielder had his contract selected from Triple-A Reno on Wednesday, completing what has been an eight-year odyssey through the Minor Leagues with a detour into real estate and a fortunate decision to create a LinkedIn page.

Garrett made his big league debut Wednesday night in a 3-2 win over the Giants, collecting his first hit -- an RBI double in the fourth. He also doubled in the eighth and came around to score what proved to be the decisive run.

“It felt great running out on a big league field,” Garrett said. “You grow up as a kid and you see the big stadiums, and then to be on the field where kids are watching you play now, it felt great.”

Selected in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Marlins, he spent six years working his way up the ladder before the Marlins released him in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having long been interested in the real estate business, Garrett had gotten his real estate license in 2018 and 2019, and in 2020 began what he thought would be his new career.

"I was doing well," Garrett said. "I had sold several houses, some to buddies, some to investors. I was doing pretty well."

Still, Garrett couldn't help but think he still had something to offer the game of baseball.

So he signed with an independent league for the next year. He had joined LinkedIn when he first got his real estate license because he heard it could be important for business.

"I was about to delete LinkedIn, two weeks before I got [a] message," Garrett said. "There was an old video coordinator from the Gulf Coast League, my first year of pro ball. He reached out and said, 'Hey, glad to see you doing real estate.' I said, 'Hey, do you know anybody that needs an outfielder? I feel like I can still compete at Double-A or above.' He said, 'No, but let me ask around.' We had a [former] Marlins guy in the front office with the Diamondbacks, Brett West. Two days later I was signed to come to Spring Training. It’s pretty crazy."

Garrett hit .280/.317/.516 for Double-A El Paso in the D-backs system in 2021 and appeared in a pair of games with Triple-A Reno.

When his contract expired at the end of the year, he could've gone to another organization, but decided against it.

"When it came down to it, I’m not the best Spring Training player," Garrett said. "It takes me a little while to get going. I knew with these guys, they saw what I could do. So if I had a terrible Spring Training, I was comfortable they would put me on a team. That was my main decision with signing back with the D-backs. They were pretty vocal about me coming back. That made it even more welcoming."

It turned out to be a good decision for both sides, with Garrett picking up right where he left off with Reno.

Garrett smashed 28 homers to go with 95 RBIs and a .900 OPS with the Aces, and at the time of his promotion, he was second in the Minors in RBIs, tied for fourth in homers, tied for sixth in extra-base hits (54) and 10th in total bases (221).

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said that Garrett would be used in the outfield primarily against left-handed pitching, but he didn't rule out him getting some starts against right-handers as well.

To make room for Garrett on the 26-man roster, the D-backs sent down slumping DH Seth Beer, and to get Garrett on the 40-man roster, left-hander Paul Fry was designated for assignment.

As Garrett went through his pregame prep, he was asked if he thought he would be standing in the Oracle Park visitor's clubhouse if not for that LinkedIn page he created.

"Man, I don’t know," he replied. "I would say no because nobody was reaching out. It was slow with COVID. There was nothing to go off of. The only numbers to go off of were 2019. Who knows? But I only needed one. And we got it.”

One thing Garrett’s father, Greg, will need to get is a sweatshirt. Greg and Elaine Garrett flew in from Texas to watch Stone’s debut, and while his mother was prepared for the chilly Bay Area temperatures, Greg came without a jacket.

That prompted him to buy a Giants sweatshirt from the souvenir stand.

“We’ll get him some D-backs gear,” Stone said.