Scouting Yankee Prospect #6: Christian Garcia

The New York Yankees selected RHP Christian Garcia in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of Gulliver Prep High School. One of the true high ceiling pitchers in the Yankee farm system, Garcia is starting to learn how to tap his immense talent. Ranking #6 among the Top 50 Yankees' Prospects, here is a scouting report on Christian Garcia.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Christian Garcia
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: August 24, 1985
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"There's a lot to like with Garcia," Yankee Minor League Pitching Coordinator Nardi Contreras said of Christian Garcia this past offseason. "He has a huge upside to him. He has a loose arm, a tremendous curveball, and a solid changeup. He's really athletic too, but he needs to do a better job controlling his mannerisms on the mound."

Undoubtedly, the terms "raw", "upside", or "ceiling" immediately come to mind when coaches, scouts, and players speak of Christian Garcia's abilities on the mound. One of the top prep catchers coming out of high school in 2004, the Yankees fell in love with his arm and drafted him as a pitcher.

"Garcia's got as much talent and as high a ceiling as anybody in the farm system," Charleston teammate T.J. Beam told us. "I think he believes he's fulfilled that high ceiling already, but there's so much more room for him to grow. I don't think he doesn't see just how high his ceiling really is. But he's willing to learn out there, so that's a plus."

Beam was referring to Garcia's confidence in his abilities. Despite finishing just his first full year on the mound in 2005, Garcia knows his stuff is really good. Armed with a power fastball, a knee-bending power curveball, and a rapidly developing changeup, Garcia approaches the game as if nobody can touch him.

The catch-22 to having all the confidence in the world is the kind of arrogance that may prohibit a pitcher from realizing his potential. However, a humbling year that saw him go just 5-6 with a 3.91 ERA in the South Atlantic League brought him back down to earth and forced him to realize that talent alone isn't enough.

"It was kind of humbling," Garcia said of his struggles in 2005. "I mean, I have the same attitude that nobody can touch me. Last year showed me how much I was lacking. It was a big positive for me and I needed that."

One of the major question marks to Garcia's game was an apparent lack of work ethic and dedication to improving his craft, a question that Garcia quickly answered in his first true offseason as a professional.

"When I was in high school I never worked out that much with weights, and I didn't work out to much in my first pro season either," the right-hander revealed. "I figure that if I'm going to get to that next level, I'm going to need every little edge. I need to improve my strength, agility, and endurance."

Showing up to Spring Training 2006 in the best shape of his life, Garcia has bulked up and toned down. Starting to look the part of a big league pitcher, Garcia has cut his body fat down to eleven percent while working daily on improving his changeup.

Throw in the fact that he has tweaked his mechanics, worked on his composure on the mound, and improved pitch selection during games, Garcia has begun his journey in discovering his immense potential.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2005

Charleston

5-6

106.0

102

53

103

3.91

2004

Gulf Coast

3-4

38.0

26

17

47

2.84



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Splitter.

Fastball. Known for tremendous secondary pitches, Garcia is actually a power arm. He averages 92-95 MPH with his fastball and touches 97 MPH at times. While his fastball is a plus pitch for him velocity-wise, his inconsistent command of his fastball has prevented him from realizing its full potential. Garcia made mechanical changes to his delivery and setup on the mound which improved his command, but he still has room to improve. His secondary stuff allows his fastball to be appear more devastating and once he improves his command, Garcia will then own an untouchable heater.

Other Pitches. Garcia throws a power knuckle curveball between 81-84 MPH, a pitch that currently serves as his out pitch. Already a Major League ready curveball, Garcia is extremely confident with that pitch. He'll throw it in any count and in any situation. Garcia fills out his current repertoire with a developing circle changeup that comes in at 84-85 MPH. He made huge strides with his changeup in 2005, improving his command of it. Garcia also has a fantastic splitter that he loves to throw but has been told by the Yankees to put it in his back pocket for now. He'll most likely bring his splitter back after he gets up to the AA level.

Pitching. There aren't too many other pitchers as confident as Garcia on the mound. While that has, at times, been a detriment to his development, it is ironically also one of his strongest assets. He simply doesn't back down from any batter and he believes he can get any hitter out. Garcia's improvement to his changeup is only going to make him more confident. His new and improved physique should allow him to remain stronger throughout the course of a long season and he already is one of the more athletic hurlers in the system.

Projection. Even including Phil Hughes, nobody has as much raw ability as Christian Garcia. His willingness to learn - improving his mechanics, sharpening his pitch selection, composing himself better during games, and getting himself into better shape - are all great signs of his desire to be the best. That, more than anything, could be the final hurdle in tapping his vast potential. He has ace potential, and while he could project to be a front-line starting pitcher for the Yankees someday, Garcia's control problems could relegate him to a tremendous #2 starter.

ETA. 2008. While he probably could use three more full minor league seasons, the fact is that Garcia's talent will be too good to hide in future Rule V Drafts for too long. Garcia should be in Tampa for the 2006 season. After that, the logical step would be a full season in AA-Trenton. He should make an impact with the New York Yankees at some point in 2008.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Christian Garcia
\r\nPosition: Starting Pitcher
\r\nDOB: August 24, 1985
\r\nHeight: 6'5\"
\r\nWeight: 205
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"There's a lot to like with Garcia,\" Yankee Minor League Pitching Coordinator Nardi Contreras said of Christian Garcia this past offseason. \"He has a huge upside to him. He has a loose arm, a tremendous curveball, and a solid changeup. He's really athletic too, but he needs to do a better job controlling his mannerisms on the mound.\"
\r\n
\r\nUndoubtedly, the terms \"raw\", \"upside\", or \"ceiling\" immediately come to mind when coaches, scouts, and players speak of Christian Garcia's abilities on the mound. One of the top prep catchers coming out of high school in 2004, the Yankees fell in love with his arm and drafted him as a pitcher.
\r\n
\r\n\"Garcia's got as much talent and as high a ceiling as anybody in the farm system,\" Charleston teammate T.J. Beam told us. \"I think he believes he's fulfilled that high ceiling already, but there's so much more room for him to grow. I don't think he doesn't see just how high his ceiling really is. But he's willing to learn out there, so that's a plus.\"
\r\n
\r\nBeam was referring to Garcia's confidence in his abilities. Despite finishing just his first full year on the mound in 2005, Garcia knows his stuff is really good. Armed with a power fastball, a knee-bending power curveball, and a rapidly developing changeup, Garcia approaches the game as if nobody can touch him.
\r\n
\r\nThe catch-22 to having all the confidence in the world is the kind of arrogance that may prohibit a pitcher from realizing his potential. However, a humbling year that saw him go just 5-6 with a 3.91 ERA in the South Atlantic League brought him back down to earth and forced him to realize that talent alone isn't enough.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was kind of humbling,\" Garcia said of his struggles in 2005. \"I mean, I have the same attitude that nobody can touch me. Last year showed me how much I was lacking. It was a big positive for me and I needed that.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the major question marks to Garcia's game was an apparent lack of work ethic and dedication to improving his craft, a question that Garcia quickly answered in his first true offseason as a professional.
\r\n
\r\n\"When I was in high school I never worked out that much with weights, and I didn't work out to much in my first pro season either,\" the right-hander revealed. \"I figure that if I'm going to get to that next level, I'm going to need every little edge. I need to improve my strength, agility, and endurance.\"
\r\n
\r\nShowing up to Spring Training 2006 in the best shape of his life, Garcia has bulked up and toned down. Starting to look the part of a big league pitcher, Garcia has cut his body fat down to eleven percent while working daily on improving his changeup.
\r\n
\r\nThrow in the fact that he has tweaked his mechanics, worked on his composure on the mound, and improved pitch selection during games, Garcia has begun his journey in discovering his immense potential.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n H

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

\r\n SO

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Charleston

\r\n

\r\n 5-6

\r\n

\r\n 106.0

\r\n

\r\n 102

\r\n

\r\n 53

\r\n

\r\n 103

\r\n

\r\n 3.91

\r\n

\r\n 2004

\r\n

\r\n Gulf Coast

\r\n

\r\n 3-4

\r\n

\r\n 38.0

\r\n

\r\n 26

\r\n

\r\n 17

\r\n

\r\n 47

\r\n

\r\n 2.84


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Splitter.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Known for tremendous secondary pitches, Garcia is actually a power arm. He averages 92-95 MPH with his fastball and touches 97 MPH at times. While his fastball is a plus pitch for him velocity-wise, his inconsistent command of his fastball has prevented him from realizing its full potential. Garcia made mechanical changes to his delivery and setup on the mound which improved his command, but he still has room to improve. His secondary stuff allows his fastball to be appear more devastating and once he improves his command, Garcia will then own an untouchable heater.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. Garcia throws a power knuckle curveball between 81-84 MPH, a pitch that currently serves as his out pitch. Already a Major League ready curveball, Garcia is extremely confident with that pitch. He'll throw it in any count and in any situation. Garcia fills out his current repertoire with a developing circle changeup that comes in at 84-85 MPH. He made huge strides with his changeup in 2005, improving his command of it. Garcia also has a fantastic splitter that he loves to throw but has been told by the Yankees to put it in his back pocket for now. He'll most likely bring his splitter back after he gets up to the AA level.
\r\n
\r\nPitching. There aren't too many other pitchers as confident as Garcia on the mound. While that has, at times, been a detriment to his development, it is ironically also one of his strongest assets. He simply doesn't back down from any batter and he believes he can get any hitter out. Garcia's improvement to his changeup is only going to make him more confident. His new and improved physique should allow him to remain stronger throughout the course of a long season and he already is one of the more athletic hurlers in the system.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Even including Phil Hughes, nobody has as much raw ability as Christian Garcia. His willingness to learn - improving his mechanics, sharpening his pitch selection, composing himself better during games, and getting himself into better shape - are all great signs of his desire to be the best. That, more than anything, could be the final hurdle in tapping his vast potential. He has ace potential, and while he could project to be a front-line starting pitcher for the Yankees someday, Garcia's control problems could relegate him to a tremendous #2 starter.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2008. While he probably could use three more full minor league seasons, the fact is that Garcia's talent will be too good to hide in future Rule V Drafts for too long. Garcia should be in Tampa for the 2006 season. After that, the logical step would be a full season in AA-Trenton. He should make an impact with the New York Yankees at some point in 2008.
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