The 2007 baseball season figures to be a big one for Edgar Garcia. It will be his first full-season league opportunity and the Phillies are anxious to see just how it goes for Garcia. He'll make the jump to Lakewood which will give him greater exposure and it's likely that more fans will get the chance to see just how good he is. The 6' 2" right-hander just turned 19 last September and has possibly as much raw talent as any pitcher in the Phillies organization.
The Phillies went with a clandestine approach to signing Garcia and literally limited the number of people who knew about him even within the organization. He slinked into Clearwater for a workout with the Phillies and they jumped all over themselves to sign him. They got him at a near bargain basement price and were determined to bring him along slowly and work on refining him for as long as it took to get him to where they needed him to be. A season in the Gulf Coast League and then another in Batavia have Garcia ready for his first taste of a full-season league.
Edgar Garcia's career stats
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Acquired: Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in October, 2004.
Repertoire: Last season, Garcia was able to develop his change-up to the point where it was the perfect compliment to his fastball. The two pitches combine to make Garcia impressive and when his curve is working, he can be downright dominant. Garcia's fastball sits in the low 90s and occasionally moves to the middle 90 mile per hour range, but his change-up makes his fastball look even better. He gets good movement on all of his pitches and can throw them all for strikes.
Pitching: Garcia has excellent control and it shows in his walk-to-strikeout ratio of one walk for every 3.8 strikeouts and just 1.7 walks per nine innings of work. Since he keeps the ball down in the zone, it's not at all easy to hit longballs against him and he's allowed just 0.7 home runs per nine innings. How he'll hold up over the rigors of a long season remains to be seen and could well be the determining factor in just how big of a prospect Garcia becomes. Don't be surprised if he hits a bit of a wall late in the season, but odds are that he will certainly be able to handle Lakewood and South Atlantic League hitters.
Projection: It's very possible that Garcia could become a top-of-the-rotation starter at the major league level. Since he's just 19 and has a good jump on moving through the system, he could hit the majors at a very young age. It's also likely that he'll move through the system quickly enough that he'll be in the majors before too long and will be a candidate to skip a level here or there. He's got a good mental approach and is extremely coachable and the Phillies believe that they have a real find in Garcia.
Comparison: Last year we compared Garcia to Brett Myers. That comparison still stands, but only in their talents. Personality wise, Garcia has a huge jump on Myers and that should pay huge dividends for him down the road.