New York Yankees: Will No.1 pitching prospect Deivi Garcia hit the big time this season?

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

Baseball America ranks the New York Yankee pitching prospect Deivi Garcia the #2 pitching prospect, MLB Pipeline rates him as #1. Back in 2015, the Yankees signed the then 16-year-old Dominican for a $200K signing bonus. He made his professional debut in 2016 and played in the rookie leagues for two years. In 2018 he really started to develop and ended the season in double A. 2019 would see the young star zip through from A+ Tampa through Trenton and all the way to AAA Scranton Wilkes/Barre and, the Rail Riders.

Garcia and another top pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt are at spring training in Tampa competing for a starting spot in the rotation, which most likely will not happen even with the loss of James Paxton. Because the Yankees did not trade J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka will take Paxton’s place in the rotation, and J.A. Happ will move from fifth to the fourth spot in the rotation. That open spot that Garcia and Schmidt will try for will most likely go to the tried and deserving Jordan Montgomery.

Deivi has attracted a lot of attention from the media in the few days he’s been in Tampa. Garcia is known as a strikeout machine as he struck out 165 batters in just 111 innings this past season. With his swift progress last year, he can smell the majors getting closer. “Of course, I would love to contribute, right, in some way. It’s always — you understand that you’re getting closer.” Garcia said. “Being here, I have an opportunity to learn a lot from all the veterans in this room, that’s something that I want to do,” All of Garcia’s comments are translated by the Yankee’s Dominican born translator Abreu.

Last year as the season was nearing an end, Garcia bombed out as he appeared to be tired. When questioned about it, he said: “When I was there, and I was pitching, I felt good physically,” Garcia said. “But at the same time, you have a lot of people looking at you with a lot of experience in the game. They’re pointing out, maybe I’m a little bit tired. But physically, I felt good.” He said he was very happy to be at camp and couldn’t wait to get started. “Super happy with the opportunity to be here in camp. I want to stay healthy and just make the team happy,” he said.

Yankee coaches and manager Aaron Boone will be watching Deivi very closely. He will probably not make the team, although it’s not out of the question. He will likely start the season with the Rail Riders. What the Yankees see from him during spring training and how he does at Scranton will tell if he plays at the Stadium this season. If the Yankees lose any pitchers to injury, Yankee fans may get to see Deivi Garcia pitch on the big stage this season.