TRENTON – While the move has not yet gone official, the Yankees promoted right-handed pitcher Deivi Garcia to Trenton on Monday. Ranked as the #4 prospect on the Pinstriped Prospects top-100, the highly touted Dominican product was dominating the Florida State to the tune of a .215 batting average against with 33 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings of work.
“He has got the makings of a kid that can be pretty special,” said Thunder Manager Pat Osborn. “The fastball jumps out of his hand, it’s got the ride carry that you hear a lot of people talk about now. He has got a really good spin-rate and keeps the ball on that flat plane finishing through the strike zone. The curveball is a plus pitch; he can really spin the ball…”
The injury bug has trickled from the big leagues all the way down to the minor league levels and it has bitten the Thunder rotation over the last week. With starters Nick Green, Nick Nelson and Trevor Stephan on the IL and a potential trip there for Garrett Whitlock up in the air, Garcia has been inserted into the rotation and is slated to start on Wednesday morning against New Hampshire.
“I give thanks to God for being able to come here again, said Garcia through Thunder catcher Jorge Saez, who served as his translator on Monday. “I was a little surprised by it, but I am really happy to be here and take it on.”
Once he is activated Garcia will be the second youngest player in Double-A baseball; only Luis Garcia of Harrisburg is younger.
“He is going to do well and he is going to be able to compete,” said Osborn. “He is probably going to dominate a little bit.
“I am very thankful to be here,” said Garcia. “I know that not many 19 year olds are able to make it up here, but I am not worried about whether I am 19 or 20, or whatever age that I am. I am worried about just staying the same and continuing to do what I have been doing.”
Garcia opened eyes in the organization with a stellar 2018 season that saw him escalate through three different levels of the system. In 14 starts spanning a career-high 74 innings of work, Garcia went 5-4 with a cumulative 2.55 ERA. He held the opposition to a mere .189 batting average and fanned 105 and walked just 20. His breakout campaign was capped off with five no-hit innings for the Thunder on the final weekend of the regular season.
“The fact that I was there last year give me a feel for the place and the teams and the environment,” Garcia admitted. “It definitely gives me more confidence.”
While there is a small level of comfort in having had a very small taste of pitching in the upper-levels, Garcia expects that he will have to endure an adjustment period going through the Eastern League if he does remain with the team for an extended period beyond one rotation turn.”
“I understand that I will have to be more cautious with my pitches,” Garcia said. “I am still going to attack just the same way that I did and just continue to make good pitches like I have.”