With free agency just around the bend for the New York Yankees, their priorities lie in several different locations. The starting pitching unit and infield mark two positions of need, but the bullpen could also use another reliable arm to solidify its dominance. Dellin Betances could be the perfect fit if general manager Brian Cashman elects to bring him back on a one-year deal if his torn Achilles is healing correctly.
The Yankees also have two youth prospect players they can rely on if needed in 2020. Both Michael King and Deivi Garcia can be utilized in the bullpen or as starters if injuries plague the team next season.
What can the two Yankees prospects offer?
Michael King was impressive in 2019 in the minor-leagues. He has a complete opposite array of qualities compared to Albert Abreu. He has remarkable command on his pitches, and his accuracy is deadly, but he doesn’t throw high-speed pitches, which is something the Yankees prefer with their starters.
However, Masahiro Tanaka has found a way to work-around a low 90’s fastball, which is similar to how King approaches his game. He could be utilized in a fifth-starter role. King struggled at times at the Tiple-A level, finishing up 2019 with a 4.18 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 23.2 innings pitched. That’s an average of over one strikeout per inning, not a bad ratio by any means.
The Yankees could use a consistent arm in the bullpen next season if they’re willing to test out King at the professional level. His two scoreless innings last season was a glimpse at his capabilities, but next year should present a bigger sample size. He should be ready to make the jump in 2020; otherwise, he could be used as trade bait this offseason.
Deivi Garica, on the other hand, was the youngest pitcher in the Yankees’ farm-system to feature at the Triple-A level in 2019. He went from Low-A ball to Double-A in three months, showing off his fastball and impressive curve. He struggled a bit at Triple-A, but we can cough that up to an elevation in quality in such a short period; eventually, Garcia was going to hit a road-block.
Garcia has fantastic stuff, but he needs to real in his control of the baseball. His BB/9 rose to over 4.00 in the high-minors last season. His fastball and curveball combination increased his K% exponentially, and at just 20-years-old, he can become an excellent starter for the Bombers in the future. I expect to see him feature in a bullpen role next season, at least in a small sample size to gauge his readiness.
I do not see him as a trade-option for the Yankees.