A name to know
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.