Yankees kid ace Deivi Garcia considers Pedro Martinez to be a hero.
The New York Yankees were confident they had something special in Deivi Garcia as he rocketed through their minor-league system, but you can never be sure.
After all, there’s no bigger crapshoot in the predictions game than pitching prospects, especially young ones who are being imbued with insane expectations and level shifts. Besides, he scuffled at Triple-A, and his walks increased to an untenable level. It was fair to be skeptical, at least of Garcia’s immediate impact.
But after watching a trio of big-league starts by the 21-year-old, one thing is clear: the kid has it.
That certain special swagger that great pitchers possess. The tail on his fastball zips a little further north when a rough situation presents itself. If he surrenders, oh, say, a 3-2 monstrous home run to Derek Fisher into the right-field tent in Buffalo, he doesn’t deviate from the game plan. He simply continues to ask you if you can hit him.
And so, while we’ll stray away from any outlandish comparisons, it’s very clear that Garcia is inspired by his fellow Dominican countryman Pedro Martinez, another diminutive pitchers whose stuff played up whenever the lights shone brightest. Neither man has ever felt pressure a day in his life, it would seem, and Garcia adorably takes a physical embodiment of Martinez’s magic to the mound with him every game.
Yes, that’s a No. 45 on his belt. No, he didn’t steal Gerrit Cole’s wardrobe behind his back.
He’s just trying to bring the proper amount of fire every game, and this little accoutrement helps him focus (or, at least, just reminds him to be himself).
Martinez has been a surprisingly prominent factor in recent Yankees pitching history, long after he retired after the 2009 World Series. And though Garcia only gets one “daddy,” aka Padre Erik Kratz, Martinez seems ready to be involved in the kid’s life, too.
After helping to remake Luis Severino’s delivery a few offseasons prior, Martinez might just sting the Red Sox once more by helping Garcia moving forward. After No. 83’s MLB debut, he joined MLB Network to talk with the Hall of Famer himself, starting the real relationship after years of emulation.
Garcia’s future remains far from a sure thing, of course, and even his immediate rotation role has been a bit of a roller coaster. Against the odds, the Yankees keep floating him back and forth from the alternate site, using some strange roster juggling to get the kid back whenever he’s needed.
But the rest of his performance aside, it should be clear by now that Garcia is infinitely confident in his deceptive stuff, and is unfazed by whatever strangeness befalls him mid-game. If he feels like a mini-Martinez to you, that’s entirely on purpose.
And if you ever forget it, just look to the man’s belt. We can’t wait to see what happens when the two future collaborators hopefully have an entire offseason together to strengthen their budding relationship, one in which the enthusiasm does not appear to be one-sided.