#5: Hector Garcia
Hector Garcia signed with the Pirates in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic. The Pirates organization gave him a 190,000 dollar signing bonus suggesting that they did believe he could be crafted into a potential prospect. The 20 year-old stands at 6’0″ and weighs about 170 pounds, so he is not completely filled out yet.
Garcia projects as your prototypical left-handed pitcher. His fastball currently sits in the from 89-92 miles per hour. As mentioned above he does not possess a big, work-horse frame, being that he is just six-foot. He has a three pitch mix his four seam fastball, a classic curve-ball, and a change-up. He is still very young and still needs to work on all his pitches. His curve-ball is a slow, looping pitch that he needs to learn to throw harder and sharper. Meanwhile his change-up is average. It has good fade at the end and is deceptive, but he needs to work with it more and continue to grow more comfortable with it.
In 2013 Garcia pitched out of the bullpen in the Dominican Summer League. Starting in 2014 the Pirates skipped the Gulf Coast League and sent Garcia to Short-Season A ball to start. He was very successful there throwing 48 innings and posting a 3.38 ERA. He held batters to a .222 batting average and struck out 50 batters while only walking 19.
In 2015 Garcia had an opportunity to really put his name on the Pirate’s prospect radar. He came out pitching very well, but toward the end of the season started to get hit around. His final stat line for the year was a 1-2 record with a 6.91 ERA in just 14.1 innings pitched.
This was because he was sent to the disabled-list, and later found out that he would be needing tommy-john surgery. When reading this one can realize why he struggled in his limited time in 2015. Most of the time when pitchers need to get TJ they tend to struggle in their starts before hand (i.e. Nick Kingham last year).
With all that being said, Garcia will not pitch this year. He received Tommy-John surgery in late 2015 and will be working back over this season. Although he is missing a full season, Garcia is still very young. He still has plenty of time to get back on track and keep developing. Expect to see Garcia start the 2017 season in Low-A West Virginia next year.
Next: Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, and maybe this lefty?