Garcia Shows He's Young, But Talented

The Phillies figure to officially unveil prospect Edgar Garcia in either the New York / Penn or Gulf Coast Leaue this summer. For now though, he's pitching in extended spring camp and showing why there is cautious enthusiasm about his future. Plus, there's other news from extended spring training.

Some players who sign at a very early age come into camp and instantly look older. Their mannerisms are honed and they carry an attitude that makes them appear older than they truly are.

Edgar Garcia is not one of those players.

In the 17 year old, it's easy to see the trappings of youth. He laughs almost too easily, causing him to lose some focus from time to time. There are signs of some of the nervousness that a 17 year old is supposed to show. When things go badly, he is easily shaken on the mound and shows it.

Maybe it's because he does act his age that Garcia is getting a lot of attention. For someone who is obviously young, he has shown a lot of talent. His fastball has good velocity and when he's on, he can move the ball through various parts of the strike zone, almost at will. He has an above averge curveball, but hasn't thrown it too often this spring. He - and the Phillies - want him to perfect his fastball and work on his change-up is progressing, but there is still a lot to do. As he matures, it's figured that his fastball will consistently be in the mid-90 mile per hour range.

On Tuesday, Garcia showed some of the potential that the Phillies know is there. Through seven innings of an extended spring game, he allowed just one run, but the outing also gave glimpses of some shortcomings. Three times, he missed throws back from the catcher, allowing a runner to advance on one of those plays. He fielded a come-backer with little trouble, but seemed surprised and almost unsure of how to make the play. It appears that defense may not be his stepping stone to the majors. His control was off and the bad news was that he was missing high in the strike zone, which will lead to some tough lessens if he can't harness the control that he will need down the road.

Again, Garcia is just 17 and needs work. Nobody has denied that. For now though, it's just a matter of getting him the work that he needs and letting maturity do the rest for Garcia. In Edgar Garcia, there isn't just potential, there is true talent, which the Phillies hope will shine through quickly for their young prodigy.

Extended spring news: Australian prospect Scott Mitchinson continues to stretch his arm out. In his next spring outing, he's expected to be ready to go five innings and is slated for Batavia when the short-season New York / Penn League begins. Mitchinson was in the Gulf Coast League last summer and walked just one hitter while striking out 60 in 61 2/3 innings of work. He finished with a 7-0, 1.75 mark for the GCL Phillies.

Louis Marson is showing a lot of offense this spring. He recently smashed four doubles in two games, catching in one and serving as the DH in the other. It's likely that Marson, who was drafted in the fourth round last June, will also head to Batavia. Marson will turn 19 in late June. Last summer, he played in the GCL and hit .257 with four homeruns and eight RBI.

What's up with Carlos Rodriguez? Well, he's playing as part of the Phillies extended spring camp. There haven't been any flare ups of his ever present attitude of late, but the Phillies are still unsure of when or if they'll move him back to the Clearwater roster. For their part, the Phillies insist that he'll have no more second chances.

Matt Squires recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing slowly. The Phillies had shut Squires down for a short time, but he was back on the field and doing some throwing on Tuesday. He reports that he does feel better, but there is still some stiffness in the arm. Squires had hoped to be back on the mound by now, but his return is still up in the air.

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