New York Yankees: A Deeper look into Deivi Garcia’s promise in the majors

“I’m going to play catch with my son,” that was the phrase shouted back at the dugout, when veteran New York Yankees catcher Erik Kratz left the dugout for home plate to get ready to catch Deivi Garcia, in his major league debut on August 30th.  The phrase was an obvious remark referencing the two players’ age difference.  Kratz is 40 years old, and the young pitching sensation is just 21. After two games together the two have formed a close bond, calling each other “Hijo” and “padre,”

“Playing with someone who inspires you trust is a point in your favor”

After just three games in the majors, the small in stature Garcia has exhibited a calmness and a veteran demeanor much his senior.  Although not a terrifying figure on the mound he exudes a confidence that should make hitters take notice. In this first game, he pitched six solid innings without giving up a run.  In his second game, he got in trouble with 4 earned runs in 4.2 innings. In his game last night, he was brilliant going seven innings with 95 pitches, allowing two runs, no walk while striking out six Orioles.  In Deivi’s journey to the majors, he has always been appreciative of his opportunities.  After his debut game he had this to say:

“First of all, thank God for giving me the opportunity to play in the big leagues and secondly my family who is always supporting me and encouraging me through thick and thin also all those people who gave me their support from their homes, many BLESSINGS for each one and may God protect them.”

After last night’s win in Buffalo, manager Aaron Boone spoke about the win and Garcia’s pitching performance.

“We’ve gotten beaten up here for a couple of weeks, especially this last week, and have lost some tough games,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “To finally get back in the win column, I think gives guys a chance to exhale as we head home.”

“He’s (Garcia) got a really good presence about him,” Boone said. “Nothing really seems to faze him. He’s got a real feel for pitching. It’s fun to watch him.”

This is the story of his rise to the major leagues.  Deivi García was born on May 9, 1999.  He grew up in Bonao, the Dominican Republic. He has two older brothers. His father, a youth baseball coach, also coached García as a youngster. His mother, a doctor, set aside her career to raise their family.  The Dominican Republic has a bevy of young boys interested in baseball. Deivi (pronounced Davey) developed that same interest as a young boy and played baseball with friends in the sandlots around his home in Bonao. Influenced by his father he, developed a strong arm for pitching, although he played in the infield and outfield as well.

At the age of just sixteen, he made his way to the beach town of Boca Chica in the DR.  Boca Chica is the home of several baseball training facilities, including the New York Yankees baseball Academy. One day the Yankees top international scout Donny Rowland stood in the batting cage in the hot DR heat.  On the mound was Deivi Garcia.  Rowland watched and watched five pitches from a right-hander who would become one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, despite how hard it might have been to envision at the time.  The reason it was hard to envision is the young prospect was just 5′ 9″ which is small for a pitcher.  He also had a slight build, more like a welterweight boxer at only 150 pounds. But Rowland was amazed by the young man’s knee-buckling curveballs. Rowland immediately said get that guy off the mound, we’re going to sign him. On a side note, Rowland also discovered Jasson Dominguez that is currently being developed at Boca Chica.

García signed with the New York Yankees during July of 2015 for a $200k signing bonus. Though he previously played baseball as an infielder and outfielder, the Yankees were determined to have him become a Yankee pitcher, due to his curveball and arm strength.   For the next two years, trainers worked with Garcia at the Boca Chica facility. In 2018, García pitched for the Charleston River Dogs and the Tampa Tarpons.  He made his final start of 2018 with the Trenton Thunder AA Yankee minor league affiliate as he continued to rocket through the minors.