Yankees top prospect Deivi Garcia found himself after a tough Summer Camp.
After weeks (months? years?) of Yankees fans both complaining about Clarke Schmidt’s continued absence and Deivi Garcia’s not-ready-for-primetime summer session, it feels good to be exactly the way we’re viewed by others: red-faced and wrong.
Somehow, it was only a month ago that Garcia was feckless in battling the Phillies in the preseason finale, garnering very little bite on his fastball, and living around the zone with semi-slop.
We declared him to be emphatically not a big league option at that point, and after just a few weeks of work, he proved us wrong — but don’t pretend he didn’t tangibly change in that short spate of time.
In fact, Garcia allowed the Yankees’ development people make one core change to his setup that improved his command immeasurably, leading directly to his unexpected poise in the zone with his rising fastball on Sunday.
Yes, that’s “it,” but in reality, a tweak like that shows Garcia had a ton of faith in the development staff he was working with.
They didn’t just move the 21-year-old slightly on the rubber or change where he came set. They changed the vantage point of his uncoiling entirely.
And, not for nothing, the kid looked entirely different. Endlessly confident and in control. Ready before the batters were. Unstoppable with the fastball, and locking you up with the spectacular curve.
At 90-94 MPH, Garcia gets as much swing-and-miss action on his fastball as those who throw at a much higher velocity.
As fellow top prospect Schmidt told Conor Foley of The Times-Tribune in Scranton this March, “He’ll throw a 91 MPH fastball right down the middle and hitters will be just befuddled. They don’t even know what it was.”
This one particular adjustment, coupled with Garcia’s beyond-his-years poise, will hopefully stop his body from betraying him and flying open during “one bad inning” every start.
So far, so very good. Odds are he’ll be back Friday to try it again against the Orioles.