A name to know

OK, so I’m far from the first one to mention Quad Cities left-hander Jaime Garcia. But in case you haven’t been following his exploits, here’s the scoop. It’s time to start watching.

I recently received an email from a reader asking me about Garcia, and up until that point I actually didn’t know much about him. I had heard his name, but I couldn’t even have told you whether he was right- or left-handed. But having been asked, I looked up his performance from this year. It’s pretty doggone good.

Garcia is still 19, and he is left-handed. That’s a good start. In 55 1/3 innings this year, he’s struck out 59 batters — and K rate is probably the single best indicator of future success. He’s walked 14, for a K/BB ratio of better than 4:1 — another of those numbers you look at. And as for one other area that can tell you a lot, Garcia has yet to allow a home run in those 55 1/3 innings. People are  starting to take notice.

So I went to a representative of the Cardinals’ player development system and asked him about Garcia. And I was told that he was a guy who they like quite a lot. And then I asked an acquaintance of mine, a reasonably well-known Minor Leagues expert, what he thought about Garcia. And he also had some very positive things to say, summed up with, "he’s young, he’s lefthanded, he’s big and he has two plus pitches." (said plus pitches are his fastball, which sits around 91 and touches 93-94 according to various sources, and his curveball).

Garcia is a long way from the Majors, but he’s an exciting prospect. And he’s an exciting prospect who was drafted in the 22nd round, quite a coup in a 2006 Draft that so far looks quite good.

-M.

3 Comments

This kid looks great. Good story too. Check out the Baseball America stories.

It’s only low A ball but at his age, it’s a good sign. If he can develop and get stronger maybe he can add 1-2 miles on his fastball. With a good curve and a decent change-up, he could be awesome.

I just hope that we have more success with this left-handed pitcher than we’ve had in the past, i.e. Ankiel and Bud Smith.

Who was the last successful left-handed pitcher that came up through the Cardinals system?

Donovan Osborne? I wouldn’t say he was a success. Perhaps Joe Magrane? He had a nice 4 year run with one outstanding year but ultimately won only 51 games for the Cards. I guess maybe Steve Carlton but we got rid of him in one of the worst trades in Cardinals history.

Another telling stat about Garcia that especially ought to wet the Card’s whistles is his GB/FB ratio of 2.32.

http://reverendredbird.mlblogs.com/

The Cardinals scouts should keep an eye on a college pitcher from St.Louis named Nick Schmidt. He is a power lefty who is 6’9″ and about 250. He is pitching at the University of Arkansas and will be facing Oral Roberts in Fayetteville on June 2nd in the Regional Tournament hosted by the Razorbacks.He is the SEC Pitcher of the Year, recording a 9-3 record with 135 strikouts against just 48 walks, a 2.98 ERA, and opponents batted just .203 against him. He had 16 starts in which he worked a total of 108 2/3 innings.

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