The Yankees lineup we all imagined at the start of the 2019 season is finally starting to form and as big-name players return from the Injured List, the 25-man roster is becoming one of the most exclusive clubs in all of New York City. However, you can never have too many prospects in the minors and one name that is making big waves throughout the organization is 20-year-old Deivi Garcia. Garcia, 20, is currently pitching for the Yankees Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder.
After spending an outrageous $18.1 million on the international market in 2014, the Yankees were limited to giving out bonuses of no more than $300,000 during the 2015 International Signing period. With these restrictions, the Yanks were still able to sign Garcia along with Luis Medina, two quality pitching prospects out of the Dominican Republic. At the time, Garcia had just turned 16-years-old and accepted a $200,000 signing bonus to join the Yankees organization. Medina had the louder tools and received a $280,000 signing bonus but Garcia was much more polished and used that to fly through the Minor League ranks going from low-A to Double-A in three short months last year at only 19-years-old.
What is the right-hander’s makeup?
Deivi Garcia is only 5’9” and 170 pounds soaking wet but has an arsenal of pitches that include a fastball in the low to mid 90’s, a wipe-out curveball and a fading changeup that he has developed well over the last year. Garcia’s best pitch is his high-spin curveball that falls off the table — turning into a nightmare for opposing hitters, especially those with a 2-strike count. His fastball clocks in around the low 90’s with the ability to reach back and get it up to 96 but pitching coaches in the minor league system have raved about its deceptive riding life that gets to hitters much quicker than anticipated.
Last season, in only his second Single-A appearance, Garcia faced the Clearwater Thrashers and spun seven perfect innings while striking out 12 batters along the way. After that appearance, the right-hander closed out the season by going 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 23 strikeouts through 21 and 1/3 innings including a 5-inning no-hit performance in his first outing with Trenton to end the year.
Garcia made his 2019 Thunder debut on May 1st where he allowed 4 runs in only 4 innings pitched but recorded 11 of his 12 outs via the strikeout. His most recent start came on June 18th against the Richmond Flying Squirrels where he tossed 6 shutout innings allowing only 1 hit and striking out 15 batters in the process. Since joining the Thunder this season, the young righty has posted a 3-2 record with a 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a .188 batting average against while striking out 67 hitters in just 42 innings pitched. His strikeout rate of 14.36 K/9 leads ALL of Double-A baseball amongst pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings with the second highest rate in the league being only 13.39 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched.
Because of his smaller stature, it takes extra effort for Garcia to work hitters which has caused some concern over his future as a starter. However, the numbers don’t lie with this kid. Whether it’s as a starter or coming out of the pen, don’t be shocked if we see the Yankees #4 ranked prospect donning the Pinstripes in the Bronx as early as next season.