YEUDY GARCIA, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: October 6, 1992
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2013, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Garcia was already 20 when he signed, so he was a little old for a Dominican prospect, and he didn’t start his career until age 21. He’s shown mid-90s velocity, reaching 98, but after an outstanding 2015 season his velocity dropped, which may or may not be related to shoulder problems. Garcia gets a lot of strikeouts with a hard slider that’s often in the low-90s when he’s healthy. He threw a change as a starter but seldom throws it as a reliever.
Garcia was the DSL Pirates’ best starter, putting up solid numbers in 13 starts.
The Pirates moved Garcia all the way up to low A and he had a breakout season, leading the league in ERA and holding hitters to a 204/284/268 line. Right-handed hitters managed only a .497 OPS against him. He occasionally had control problems, but posted good walk and K rates. The main issue he presented for the Pirates was managing his workload in a full season league, considering that he’d thrown just under 60 pro innings total coming into the season. He opened the season in the bullpen, mostly pitching 2-3 innings at a time. In mid-May he moved to the rotation, but he didn’t go past five innings until near the end of the season, and came out sooner than five innings several times. He got through the season without incident, though. Baseball America rated him the league’s ninth best prospect.
Garcia had a somewhat frustrating season, although the talent still was evident. He had problems for most of the year with high pitch counts, going deep into counts and at times having trouble with walks. He averaged just under five innings per start. That was only a slight increase over the previous season, when they were trying to keep his workload down for much of the season. Garcia’s velocity was down, generally to 90-94, although he reached 95-96 at times. He had quite a few games in which he ran up his pitch count and allowed a lot of baserunners, but still struck out a lot of hitters and kept runs off the board. He had some trouble with left-handed hitters, allowing them a .734 OPS. He held right-handed hitters to .626.
After the 2016 season, Garcia went to Pittsburgh to get his shoulder examined, saying it had been hurting him all year. He had some sort of surgery that the Pirates haven’t specified, but he was free of problems in March 2017. His velocity, though, remained in the low-90s during spring training and in the early season. The Pirates sent him to Altoona, where he started off in the rotation. It didn’t go well at all, as Garcia couldn’t command his fastball, leading to walks, high pitch counts and early exits. As a starter, he gave up a 298/403/472 batting line. He remained in the rotation until mid-June, when he left a start with a back injury. He missed two weeks, rehabbed briefly in the GCL, then returned as a reliever. He continued to struggle with his control, walking 12 in his first 12.1 IP in relief. His command gradually improved, although it was never good, and his velocity gradually returned. He consistently reached the mid-90s late in the season and reportedly reached the upper-90s in his last playoff appearance.
Garcia spent the season in the Altoona bullpen. His season was encouraging in the sense that his stuff largely rebounded, but his poor command led to poor results. He walked too many and, when he couldn’t get his fastball over to set up the slider, he got hit at times, more than he should with the stuff he has. He didn’t get hammered — opponents hit 257/365/364 against him — and his xFIP was a much-more-respectable 3.95. He also had a very high K rate, but was hurt by a high batting average on balls in play of .362. Garcia had a lot more trouble with left-handed hitters, who had a .779 OPS against him, compared to .658 by right-handed hitters. To cap off his season, he got suspended, along with Luis Escobar, in late August for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Garcia returned for a third season with the Curve, pitching in long relief along with a couple spot starts. He took another step backward: His stuff remained inconsistent, his K rate dropped sharply and opponents put up a robust line against him of 311/396/434. He wasn’t effective against right- or left-handed hitters.
Garcia has one more year before free agency.
|2020: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $30,000
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|August 2013: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.