Phillies Prospect #12: Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia has been pitching in leagues where he is considered about a year too young. Considering that, his numbers at Lakewood weren't much to be concerned about, but is there more to fear on the horizon?

Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic.

B: R T: R / Height: 6' 2" Weight: 190 lbs

Birth Date: September 20, 1987

2007 Team: Lakewood (20 g), Williamsport (2 g)

Games/Games Started in 2007: 22 g / 21 gs

Last Year's Ranking: 4

Why he fell from #4 to #12: Garcia has a lot of talent, but it's not translating quite the way many had hoped. He started to show some signs of impatience in 2007, even though he was moved to a full-season league and had pretty much attention thrust on him. Maybe, he's starting to read the reviews and become a little too enamored and is forgetting, just a little, about all the work that's yet to be done. It's not that his numbers at Lakewood were bad, but the feeling is that Garcia can do better than he did and just needs to be more aggressive with his approach.

Repertoire: Edgar Garcia needs some work on his secondary pitches, but his fastball generally hits between 92 and 94 miles per hour and has some late movement. He throws a curveball and slider, which are fairly similar to each other, but with the pure curveball having more of a bite and is slightly ahead of his slider at this point of his career. Trailing well behind is his change-up, which the Phillies are constantly working on with him, but simply can't get him to throw it with the same arm speed and delivery that he does his fastball and hitters at higher levels are going to be able to pick up his change-up and adjust. There were some concerns about Garcia early in the season, because his velocity was down and he just didn't look smooth on the mound, but it turned out to simply be some mechanical issues that were fixable and before long, he was back where he needed to be.

Pitching Style: If there is one thing that Garcia will need to get better at, it's putting away hitters. He tip-toes around too often when he has a hitter buried in the count rather than simply disposing of him and too often, he wound up making a mistake and getting himself in trouble. Garcia tends to pitch away from the bat at times, although he's had good enough stuff to go right at hitters.

Projection: Some scouts believe that as the competition gets stiffer, Garcia's weaknesses will be exposed. It's true that he certainly won't be able to get away with many of the mistakes that he makes now, which goes back to the need to simply go after hitters and put them away. Pitching for Clearwater is going to be interesting and the fact that he keeps the ball down in the zone and gets a lot of ground balls will likely come in handy. The Phillies have been a little cautious with Garcia, which is okay, because he's generally a little young for the leagues that he's been pitching in since coming to the states and there's no need to rush him ahead. If he does get exposed at the higher levels, moving him to the bullpen might be an option, especially if he can't get his change-up to where it will need to be to give him the extra pitch that he needs as a starter.

Comparison: While some scouts see similarities between Garcia and Brett Myers, it's hard to say that Garcia will be that good until he does face better hitters. Quite honestly, by now, his secondary pitches should have shown more improvement than they have and even though he pitched relatively well at Lakewood, his stock has fallen slightly.

Edgar Garcia's career stats

2005 GCL 4 4 3.56 0 10 10 55.2 63 26 22 4 13 42 1.37 .284
2006 Batavia 3 5 2.98 0 12 12 66.1 62 28 22 5 10 46 1.09 .243
2007 Lakewood 4 9 4.12 0 20 20 113.2 119 61 52 10 32 83 1.33 .268
2007 Williamsport 1 0 2.13 0 2 1 8.1 6 2 2 0 2 11 0.96 .200
TOTALS 12 18 3.61 0 44 21 244.0 250 117 98 19 57 182 1.26 .263

Another way to look at the stats:

It's interesting to note that in 2007, Garcia pitched exactly the same number of games and innings that he did in his first two seasons combined, which leaves open an easy comparison.

2005/2006 7 9 3.25 22 22 122.0 125 54 44 9 23 88 1.21 .265
2007 5 9 3.98 22 21 122.0 125 63 54 10 34 94 1.30 .264

It's easy to see that the numbers are very similar across the board, but there is a slight rise in walks last year from his first two seasons, but that's somewhat offset by a smaller rise in strikeouts. It's also interesting to note that while his ERA was 0.78 higher last season than in his first two, his opponents average against actually stayed about the same.


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