Rony Garcia has been beyond impressive in his professional debut season this year.

TAMPA, FL -- After coming over from the Dominican Summer League where he commanded the plate during his professional debut season, right-handed pitcher Rony Garcia has quickly made a name for himself in the Gulf Coast League.

Wasting no time at all, Garcia smoothly transitioned into his role with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, posting five strikeouts and allowing just three hits in his first appearance [5.1 innings] on the mound in the United States.

Throughout this season, Garcia has continued to work on every little detail of his game in order to improve and continue moving forward. Coming from the DSL, he said he is feeling prepared and ready to pitch himself onto the prospect map.

“Every outing that I get I’m going to show quality and put myself in line for another promotion,” Garcia said through a translator. “The ultimate goal is to keep moving along the system."

While Garcia allowed only one home run in 43 innings playing in the DSL, he maintained his command over the plate transitioning into the GCL too, allowing none in 28 innings.

The 6-foot-3 pitcher backs his 95 mph fastball up with pinpoint control as attested by his four walks in those 28 innings this season. GCL pitching coach Elvys Quezada remains confident that Garcia’s mature mentality and attention to detail will allow him to continue his success with the Yankees down the road.

“From last year to now I’m feeling so much better about my game,” Garcia said. “I’ve improved my physique, my command, and my understanding of the game. Last year I wasn’t able to speak any English, and now I at least know ‘good morning.’”

Transitioning from the DSL to the GCL, Garcia said he was excited and surprised by the promotion. It’s been a good experience for him and he’s proud of what he has been able to accomplish so far in his debut season.  He said he is very happy to be in the Gulf Coast League and plans to continue working to perfect his game with his new team.

During Garcia’s time in the DSL, Garcia was 1-3, with 39 strikeouts in 43 innings with a 1.88 ERA, and a 1.02 WHIP. Garcia has a fastball that sits between 93-95 mph. He compliments that heat with a breaking ball in the 77-81 range, and his last addition is a hard changeup coming in around 87 mph. Garcia said he’s been working to develop the changeup more with Quezada, and it seems to be coming along.

“You can’t ask anymore from a young kid,” Quezada said. “He’s always consistent with his work, he’s always consistent with his timeliness and he’s always consistent with his approach to the game.”

Garcia separates himself from other pitchers his age not only because of his mental maturity but because not only does he throw strikes but he also commands both sides of the plate. Throughout his outings he’s able to maintain composure and control the game. Quezada said Garcia is in a good place right now, but he plans to continue to sharpen that consistency moving into next season.

“He’s beyond his years,” Quezada said. “Sometimes he’s able to have a feel for the ball and think to command both sides of the plate. You don’t see that often in young guys.”

Quezada has only seen Garcia in five appearances this season but he remains confident that Garcia will continue to climb the ladder as time goes on. Quezada said Garcia is very detail oriented and determined to make headway in the organization.

“From what I can see there isn’t a lot to specifically work on,” Quezada said. “He just needs to get it more consistent with mechanical things, but that will come with time. The guys over in the DSL did great things with him.”

Garcia said he’s been feeling much better about his performance to date, that he's made a name for himself in his debut season, and has no signs of slowing down.

“I think highly of the kid,” Quezada concluded. “We still have a ways to go with his physique and a little touch on his command, but he has a mature mentality. He’s ready, you don’t need to teach that. ”

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