The Pirates Prospects 2016 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2016 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. Subscribers to the site get free and discounted books, with Top Prospect subscribers getting the 2016 book for free, and Annual subscribers getting $10 off. Both levels of subscribers can also get the book for just $5. Details on all three promotions can be found on the products page, and you can subscribe to the site or upgrade your current plan on the subscriptions page.
While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. The reports will only be available to site subscribers, including those with a monthly plan. You can subscribe here, and if you like these reports, be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site to get much more analysis on every player in the system.
To recap the countdown so far:
We continue the countdown with the number 12 prospect, Yeudy Garcia.
12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP
When you think of all of the possible “breakout” performers in the system, you usually think of guys who are young, highly projectable, and maybe even came in already on the radar due to a high bonus amount, or a high draft position. Yeudy Garcia was none of those things, and yet he was the breakout player of the year for the Pirates in 2015.
Garcia was signed at an old age out of the Dominican Republic, and made his pro debut at the age of 21. He showed good results and good stuff, with reports of his fastball topping out at 95 MPH in the DSL, and his body filling out to lead to the velocity increase. He was expected to jump to the US, with the chance for an aggressive placement due to his age. The placement he actually received was a total surprise.
The Pirates jumped Garcia over three levels, sending him to West Virginia to play under the lights in his first full season of ball in the US. He started off as a reliever, but quickly moved to the rotation after displaying a fastball that sat 93-96 MPH and touched 97. The fastball had a lot of movement, and Garcia commanded the pitch well. He also threw the pitch with zero effort.
Most pitchers in West Virginia are working on their fastball command, but Garcia already had that down. This allowed him to focus on his secondary stuff, with improvements made throughout the year to his slider, and more comfort shown with his changeup.
Garcia is a very smart pitcher off the field, and was very eager to learn English and adjust to culture in a new country. He was teaching himself the new language, making it easier to communicate with his teammates and his catchers. This will definitely help as he moves up in the system.
The aggressive push that the Pirates gave Garcia makes him age appropriate as a prospect now. He should move up to Bradenton in 2016, and if he continues pitching the way he did in 2015, he could make it to Altoona by the end of the season. Garcia has one of the best arms in the system, and could have top of the rotation stuff if his slider continues to develop. At the least, he will be a power reliever who could close in the majors, but his ceiling goes much higher than that.