The Times-Tribune’s annual countdown of the top 10 Yankees prospects is back. Here’s what happens: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders beat writer Conor Foley ranks 15 prospects, Donnie Collins ranks 15 prospects, and then they’re averaged together. The list takes into account ETA for the big leagues. You’re going to find some guys who might not have ceilings as high as others, but who instead could be in a position to help the Yankees sooner. 

After a meteoric rise through the farm system, Deivi García made his MLB debut in 2020 and offered a glimpse of what could be in store for the future. He’s got a fastball that hitters can’t seem to time up right, a curveball that falls off the table and he’s working on refining the slider he started using in 2019 and his changeup. But whether it’s moving from one side of the pitching rubber to the other, or even picking up that slider pretty quickly, he’s shown the ability to take ideas or adjustments and run with them. Teammates and coaches rave about his poise on the mound.

The basics

Position: RHP
B/T: R/R
Age: 21
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 163
40-man? Yes
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent July 2, 2015 out of Dominican Republic.
SWB ETA: 2021

What about last year?

Made his major league debut Aug. 30 against the New York Mets, when he didn’t allow an earned run across six innings while walking none and striking out six. He would make six starts in New York and had a 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings. He struck out 33 and walked six, but also allowed six home runs. He also, of course, made one appearance in the postseason, opening Game 2 of the American League division series against Tampa Bay before giving way to JA Happ.

It was a small sample size, but Statcast numbers didn’t necessarily love the under-the-hood numbers. His fastball velocity ranked in the 34 percentile, fastball spin in the 30th, average exit velo in the 29th and whiff percentage in the 23rd. He did however post a high chase rate (92nd percentile) and his curveball spins more than most (72nd percentile). Still, there’s something about watching Garcia pitch where you know something’s not adding up, but it a good way. It’s fun.

After the season, he pitched three games in the Dominican Winter League and allowed five runs in six innings.

Tell me something

Here are parts of some scouting reports from national outlets:

  • MLB Pipeline: “… Garcia joined the Yankees with a reputation for having one of the best curveballs in the Minors, yet his mid-70s bender was more effective than devastating in his introduction to the Majors, and some scouts thought his low-80s slider showed just as much promise. His four-seam fastball averaged 92 mph and 2,178 rpm after previously touching 97 with higher spin rates. His best pitch in the big leagues was a low-80s changeup with fade that helped him limit left-handers to a .579 OPS (versus .817 for righties). … “
  • Fangraphs: “… Garcia’s changeup, which has about 12 mph of velocity separation from his fastball, is likely to become his most effective secondary weapon, and he already has great feel for locating it. His slider’s shape is similar to his curveball’s, just with more velocity. The entire repertoire is either average or a shade above it, and I think Garcia will end up working around 140 innings and generating 2-ish WAR annually. …”

Photo: Associated Press