Though they faced international spending restrictions in 2015 after doling out $18.1 million in bonuses the summer before, the Yankees still reeled in a pair of premium Dominican pitching prospects in Garcia ($200,000) and Luis Medina ($280,000). After two years in Rookie ball, Garcia reached Double-A at age 19 at the end of 2018. While he wasn't as efficient last season, his strikeout rate (13.3 per nine innings) would have ranked second in the Minors if he hadn't fallen barely short of qualifying.
Garcia has one of the best breaking balls in the Minors, a high-spin curveball with so much depth that he sometimes has difficulty landing it for strikes. He also dodges bats with a fastball that ranges from 91-97 mph with high spin rates that give it riding life up in the strike zone. He added a mid-80s slider in 2019 to give batters a different look, and he also flashes a solid changeup with fading action.
Because Garcia is small and has some effort in his delivery, there are worries about his durability as a starter, though his athleticism helps his cause. His walk rate jumped from 2.4 per nine innings in 2018 to 4.4 in 2019, and his diminished efficiency meant he worked as many as six innings just four times in 21 starts last year. If he can't stick in the rotation, his curveball and ability to miss bats should make him a high-leverage reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 65 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
After spending $18.1 million on the 2014 international market, the Yankees were restricted to giving out bonuses of no more than $300,000 the following summer, yet they still landed a pair of quality pitching prospects in Dominican right-handers Garcia ($200,000) and Luis Medina ($280,000). While Medina has louder stuff, Garcia has much more polish and used it to rush from low Class A to Double-A in only three months at age 19 last year. He struck out 12 in seven perfect innings in the second game of a Class A Advanced doubleheader on Aug. 6, though his Tampa team lost the game (but not the no-hitter) in the eighth.
Garcia's best pitch is a high-spin curveball with so much depth that he'll have to prove he can land it for strikes when more advanced hitters don't chase it out of the zone as often. He also gets good spin on his fastball, which plays better than its 91-96 mph velocity with deceptive riding life. He made strides with his fading changeup in 2018, creating optimism that it can become at least a solid third offering.
Though he doesn't have the smoothest delivery, Garcia repeats it well and exhibits advanced control and command for such a young pitcher. Because he's small and works with some effort, there are some concerns about his long-term durability as a starter, but his athleticism and efficiency help his cause. His fastball/curveball combination should play well in the late innings if he winds up as a reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Though their international spending spree during the previous signing period meant they couldn't pay more than $300,000 to anyone in 2015-16, the Yankees found a pair of potential impact arms in Dominicans Luis Medina and Garcia. Signed for $200,000, he's tiny but has a quick arm and generates some of the best spin rates in a Yankees organization that puts a premium on them. He spent his first two pro seasons in three different Rookie leagues, logging a 2.99 ERA with 146 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings.
Garcia generates tremendous spin on both his fastball and curveball. His curve has good depth, already generates plus grades on a regular basis and serves as his best pitch. He works in the low 90s and has hit 96 mph with his heater, which features riding life.
Garcia also throws a fading changeup that should develop into an average third offering. He slashed his walk rate from 6.0 per nine innings in his debut to 2.9 last year, so his biggest need to remain a starter is to add strength to his small frame. If he's not durable enough for the rotation, his fastball/curveball combination could make him a dynamic reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
After blowing well past their 2014-15 international pool by paying out seven seven-figure bonuses, the Yankees were restricted to a maximum bonus of $300,000 in the next two signing periods. Nevertheless, they were able to land Garcia in July 2015 for $200,000. The Dominican was just 5-foot-10 and 145 pounds, which reduced his negotiating power, but his stuff is much bigger than his size.
Garcia has an exceptionally quick arm and generates some of the fastest spin rates among New York farmhands. That spin is evident on his plus curveball, his best offering, and on a four-seam fastball that sits in the low 90s and touches 96 mph with riding life. Those two pitches have made him unhittable in two years of Rookie ball, where he has fanned 146 in 108 1/3 innings and limited opponents to a .180 average.
Garcia's changeup is still developing but has promising action. He made encouraging progress with his control last year, cutting his walk rate to 2.9 per nine innings after posting a 6.0 mark in his 2016 debut. Because he lacks physicality, the Yankees have handled him with care and will have to closely monitor his workload when he gets to full-season ball, which might not happen until 2019.