Name: Rony Garcia
Weight: 200 lbs
Affiliate: Trenton Thunder (AA)
Role: Backend Rotation Ceiling or Long Reliever
Risk Factor: High
MLB ETA: 2021
Rony Garcia was called up to Trenton Sunday morning when Nick Green was placed on the IL, to make his first AA start. He was very impressive, giving up just one hit along with four walks in 5 shutout innings while striking out 8.
Background: The right-hander signed with the Yankees in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic. He split time last season between Charleston and Tampa, throwing 119 innings and striking out 107, with a 4.31 ERA. Garcia did an excellent job keeping the ball in the park last season, giving up only seven home runs.
Fastball: Garcia mainly used his fastball to attack Erie hitters. The pitch sat at 90-92 most of the game, topping out at 93. He was able to get swings and misses in all different parts of the strike zone with the fastball. Rony was squeezed by the home plate umpire who would not give him the outside corner against left-handed batters, where Rony seemed to like throwing his fastball.
Cutter: His next pitch was either a cutter or a hard slider, but I’ll call it the former. He threw the cutter in the mid to high 80’s, and it was a bit inconsistent but flashed solid glove-side bite.
Curveball: Toward the middle to later innings of his start, Garcia developed good feel for a 76-78 mph curve. This pitch has good spin and has the potential to be an essential weapon for him.
Mechanics: Rony is athletic with a relatively smooth delivery while releasing the ball from a low arm slot. He had some issues in the first inning with his delivery, opening up his front side a little too early, but this did not seem to affect where the ball was going, and he sorted this out as he settled into his start.
Command: Garcia was able to pound the zone while usually hitting his spots except for a rough patch in the 5th inning. I was impressed with his strike-throwing abilities and ability to paint even while the umpire refused to help him out with some calls.
Overall: Garcia needs to show a more consistent feel for his secondaries which certainly have potential. His arm speed, fastball command, athleticism, and build make me think he has a good shot at remaining a starter. There is also quite a bit of upside here. I will certainly be keeping an eye on Rony Garcia. He has a shot at rising up Yankees prospect lists this summer.