With their third round pick (79th overall) in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Nick Garcia from Chapman University, a Division III school. He was ranked 70th by MLB Pipeline in this draft class and 56th by Baseball America.
Garcia has a 6’4″, 215 pound frame and he turned 21 years old back in April. He was a position player out of high school and remained there as a freshman in college. He moved to the mound in 2019 and was used out of the bullpen with success. He also added innings during the Cape Cod League.
Garcia got late helium in this draft class by pitching well this year as a starter. He has a fastball that has touched 97-98 MPH this year, along with a mid-80s slider and a high-80s cutter. Both pitches are at least average, with a chance to be better. His changeup is a distant fourth pitch. He throws strikes and is improving his command. He also has an easy delivery and clean motion.
It’s an interesting pick here because he barely has any innings on his arm, so he’s raw for his draft class. You also don’t know if he will be able to throw a lot of innings while maintaining his stuff. He’s got the frame of a workhorse starter, but no real track record to give confidence yet. The lack of max effort in his delivery helps his case. Going in the third round, you would expect the Pirates to develop him as a starter and there’s obviously upside here due to the lack of experience. If it doesn’t work out, he still has a three-pitch mix of a power reliever.
Here’s a video from Prospect Pipeline, showing him in 2019 before he took a jump in velocity
They also posted a center field cam video
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.