Dermis Garcia is known for his power potential but he's looking to be more than a mere slugger.

TAMPA, FL -- After signing at age 16, Yankees third baseman Dermis Garcia has made progress toward his Major League goal. Currently ranked as one of the organizations top prospects, Garcia’s pure power is what attracted scouts to the Dominican Republic. However, Garcia is determined to become a well-rounded player.

As an 18 year-old in his first full season with the Pulaski Yankees last year, Garcia hit .206 with 13 home runs in only 53 games played. The average may seem low, but it was a near .50 point improvement from his batting average in the previous year.

“I had a good season last year,” Garcia said through the help of a translator. “But I want a better approach at the plate and be more consistent.”

Garcia did not meet expectations at this season's Spring Training. Garci said he believes he was thinking too much and placing too much pressure on himself.

“I felt pressure during Spring Training,” Garcia said. “It was a mental pressure.”

Hitting coach Francisco Leandro said that the physical ability is evident with Garcia, he just needs to fix his mindset when he steps up to the plate.

“He was putting too much pressure on himself, he was trying to do too good,” Leandro said. “He has the ability, but his mental approach needs to improve.”

Leandro believes that Garcia just needs time in order to come into his potential. His coach said that even in the short time Garcia has spent in Extended Spring Training this year, he can already see the massive improvement he has made since the Spring.

“He’s more relaxed at the plate, he’s not chasing as many bad pitches,” Leandro said. “The physical [ability] is always there, but the mental part is getting there.”

Garcia’s calling card to many people is his sheer power, but he said he doesn’t consider himself a power hitter. Garcia said he believes he is an all-around plus player at the plate.

“I don’t consider myself as a power hitter, I consider myself a good ballplayer, a guy who can hit for average,” Garcia said. “But at the same time, if a guy is throwing strikes the ball is going to jump off my bat.”

If Garcia’s power stays where it is now, he should be able to be a productive player if he can consistently stay in the .260 range. But Garcia is consciously attempting to get his average higher and is working on way to improve that during his stint in Tampa.

“I’m selecting better pitches to hit, I’m recognizing pitches better,” Garcia said. “I’m working in the lower half [of the zone] and I feel pretty good about where I am at right now.”

Leandro said he thinks a big part of his improvement has been coming with maturity in his approach at the plate and being patient as a player.

“One of the things we do is we set goals and then try to accomplish them,” Leandro said. “We have daily goals, weekly goals and monthly goals to achieve. So far, he’s been doing well with that. “

Garcia is known for his presence at the dish, but he has also been tirelessly working on his defense at third base. He said he is working on getting better positioning when fielding the ball in order to make a better throw to first.

“I want to get in the right position to throw the ball where it needs to be,” Garcia said. “I want to slow things down because sometimes the game goes too fast.”

Along with his work at third base, Leandro said the organization is trying Garcia out at first base this season. Garcia has never played first before, but Leandro said he is adapting well.

“He’s learning first base also, which is a big transition for him,” Leandro said. “He’s been real good at it so far.”

All prospects' main desire is getting into the Major Leagues at some point, but Garcia isn’t focusing on the future too much. He is trying to stay in the moment and focus on his minor league teams success.

“I want to help my team out,” Garcia said. “I want to help them win games.”

Leandro said he believes that Garcia is a guy that the Major League club will be counting on in a few years, but in order to get there he needs to trust what the organization wants him to do.

“We have big expectations for him,” Leandro said. “Sometimes you have to trust the process and not the results and I think he’s getting to that point right now.”

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories