Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 Top Prospects: #12 – Yeudy Garcia

The Pirates Prospects 2016 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2016 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. Subscribers to the site get free and discounted books, with Top Prospect subscribers getting the 2016 book for free, and Annual subscribers getting $10 off. Both levels of subscribers can also get the book for just $5. Details on all three promotions can be found on the products page, and you can subscribe to the site or upgrade your current plan on the subscriptions page.

While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. The reports will only be available to site subscribers, including those with a monthly plan. You can subscribe here, and if you like these reports, be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site to get much more analysis on every player in the system.

To recap the countdown so far:

20. Willy Garcia, RF
19. Clay Holmes, RHP
18. Mitch Keller, RHP
17. Max Moroff, 2B
16. Chad Kuhl, RHP
15. Cole Tucker, SS
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP
13. Steven Brault, LHP

We continue the countdown with the number 12 prospect, Yeudy Garcia.

12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP

When you think of all of the possible “breakout” performers in the system, you usually think of guys who are young, highly projectable, and maybe even came in already on the radar due to a high bonus amount, or a high draft position. Yeudy Garcia was none of those things, and yet he was the breakout player of the year for the Pirates in 2015.

Garcia was signed at an old age out of the Dominican Republic, and made his pro debut at the age of 21. He showed good results and good stuff, with reports of his fastball topping out at 95 MPH in the DSL, and his body filling out to lead to the velocity increase. He was expected to jump to the US, with the chance for an aggressive placement due to his age. The placement he actually received was a total surprise.

The Pirates jumped Garcia over three levels, sending him to West Virginia to play under the lights in his first full season of ball in the US. He started off as a reliever, but quickly moved to the rotation after displaying a fastball that sat 93-96 MPH and touched 97. The fastball had a lot of movement, and Garcia commanded the pitch well. He also threw the pitch with zero effort.

Most pitchers in West Virginia are working on their fastball command, but Garcia already had that down. This allowed him to focus on his secondary stuff, with improvements made throughout the year to his slider, and more comfort shown with his changeup.

Garcia is a very smart pitcher off the field, and was very eager to learn English and adjust to culture in a new country. He was teaching himself the new language, making it easier to communicate with his teammates and his catchers. This will definitely help as he moves up in the system.

The aggressive push that the Pirates gave Garcia makes him age appropriate as a prospect now. He should move up to Bradenton in 2016, and if he continues pitching the way he did in 2015, he could make it to Altoona by the end of the season. Garcia has one of the best arms in the system, and could have top of the rotation stuff if his slider continues to develop. At the least, he will be a power reliever who could close in the majors, but his ceiling goes much higher than that.

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  • nice

  • Yeudy and the…

  • Tim Williams, I actually think Suicide Squad looks okay. But your boy Jesse Eisenberg looks like he’s gonna ruin Batman V Superman.

    • Lets be fair to Ben Affleck. He has the ability to ruin a superhero movie all on his own.

      Being honest though, im a bit iffy on Eisenberg. First reaction wasnt good from me, but the more i find clips/trailers and see him, it might be a non-awful take on that character.

      • I’m going to give Affleck a chance, but you’re right. Good chance he might.

        I just thought the trailer with Eisenberg was cringe worthy.

        • The red capes are coming.

        • Weird trailer in terms of showcasing each actor. Seemed to really just show Eisenberg doing the funny side of his character. Maybe thats by design, but it did seem weird.

          Im too harsh on Affleck, but he deserves it for Daredevil.

    • I feel like the trailers for both look great, but they also might be giving away all of the best stuff to make the trailers look great.

  • I cannot, for the life of me, figure out who the last person of the top 11 prospects will be, and it’s driving me crazy – Glasnow, Taillon, Diaz, McGuire, Bell, Hanson, Newman, Hayes, Ramirez, Meadows…Am I completely missing somebody? Luplow and Barnes are the only offensive players I can think of (but I doubt they’re this high), so there must be a pitcher I’m forgetting…

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    January 21, 2016 1:34 pm

    Well, here is a name that I basically had forgotten about during the offseason….I love seeing guys like this in the top list of prospects – who aren’t placed there just because they were drafted in the first or second round – he earned it on the field. He had a very surprising and strong season last year…glad to see he will likely start in Bradenton in 2016. With Tarpley, Holmes, and Garcia, that team should have a pretty good rotation.

  • I think it would be cool to see how scouting number change.

    What was Yeudy Garcia 20-80 grades when they signed him and what would they be now

    Like Tony Sanchez, when he got drafted his defense was where on the 20-80 scale and his last year in the organization, were was his defense.

  • Tim,

    This review of your top twenty is alot of fun. But it would still be interesting to hear more details on some of the long shots to make it. Two of my favorites are Montana DeRapau and Logan Hill. But I am sure that you have yours. Could you do a series on them (looking for the next Albert Pujols)?

    • There’s plenty on Durapau and Hill in the prospect guide.

      • Yeah, but there is plenty on the top twenty too. It still would be fun to read about some favorite long shots.

        • What I mean is that everything in the top twenty countdown is also in the prospect guide, as well as info on every other minor leaguer.
          If you didn’t buy the prospect guide the top 20 countdown gives you the info on the top prospects.

          Tim isn’t going to give away his whole prospect guide however…

          So if you want to read about everyone, it’s all in the prospect guide.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      January 21, 2016 1:38 pm

      You are right about DeRapau – he was absolutely lights out in Low A, High A and Double A – but he doesn’t get much respect because he was not a high pick and came out of Bethune-Cookman. So, most people are skeptical and expect him to fail as he moves up. I’ve never seen him pitch, so I cannot say much about his stuff, but his numbers speak for themselves.

    • Montana DeRapau, 80-grade name.

    • You should buy the Prospect Guide. We’ve got the profiles you’re looking for on every prospect in the system.

  • It still throws me when I read that someone moves UP to Bradenton.

    • Silly Wabbit! Tim did his homework.

      • Oh yeah, I’m sure HE remembers that Bradenton now has a high-A team, heh.


      • CG

        My post is not being read the way I meant it to be. It was a compliment to Tim. I was trying to say that TW probably could tell who threw a pitch just by seeing its action. I didn’t mean that he never saw the guys pitch… Just that Tim could guess the author of a pitch in the Bucs’ system even if he was only looking at the Pitch FX strike zone….

        Was my syntax that bad?


        • Idk, that’s exactly how I interpreted it then I had to reread after the responses to you. I don’t see why it was misinterpreted.

  • I saw him pitch last year in WVa….
    He reminded me of Edison Volquez…

  • It sounds like the promotion to Hi A is merited, but do you think he could possibly go higher than that based on the development of the pitches and his maturity as a SP? How “rough” is the Slider at this point? I realize the Pirates will want him to validate his performance of last year and watch the development of the Slider and Changeup, but you rarely use that phrase “could have top of the rotation stuff”.

    • I saw Garcia last season in West Virginia. His stuff was excellent but was impressive to me was his poise and competitiveness . If someone reached 2nd base, and it was rare, he put it into another gear. This guy is the real deal. He’d be in double A in other organizations.

      • Laurence: Thank you, you knew exactly where I was going. Stats tell a lot, but nothing like seeing it on TV or being there in person to see how a player/pitcher reacts to adversity. I doubt they let him skip Hi A, but I hope that he does well and earns a promotion to AA in 2016.

        • I can’t see him not moving quickly through the system. He has the talent and it really looks like he has the makeup of a top line pitcher. I’ve seen them all pitch at one time or another and Garcia has the “it” factor. I see why he skipped 3 levels .

      • He wouldn’t be in Double-A in other organizations. If he was, that would be a mistake. He got a huge aggressive promotion and did well on the field, but the off field stuff was more important, getting adjusted to life in the US. Easier to do that if he’s in one place all year.

    • He could reach Altoona in 2016.

  • I like this placement, and I’m very high on this kid. This year will clarify his status as a prospect. How does his fb movement and control compare to someone like Khul?

    • Garcia has downward movement with his four seam fastball. Basically it’s not flat.

      Kuhl throws a two-seamer, so he has a lot more movement, with some late cutting action.

      • I love this site. Where else can you get someone who knows the system so well that he could tell two prospects’ fastballs apart without seeing the pitcher throw them.



        • ??

        • Tim saw both of them pitch, so not sure what you mean. He made two trips to see WV play this year and saw Garcia in Spring Training. He saw Altoona this year as well and Kuhl was with Bradenton all of 2014, so he saw him a lot.

          • I gave the benefit of the doubt…I interpreted it as: knowing the pitchers so well, just by seeing the movement of the fastball, it was known who threw it.

          • Hi John…

            Poorly written on my part. What I mean to say is that Tim so well described the two pitches in comparison that I felt like he could hold up a card with a peep hole in it just so he could see the strike zone and probably be able to tell who threw the pitch just by seeing its action… you know… without having to see the man who threw it.

            It was a compliment.


        • I agree.

      • Kuhl fb sounds a bit like Kip Wells.

  • Why was Garcia overlooked in the Dominican as a teenager? What is the backstory?

    • He wasn’t overlooked, he went to college first, then signed after he graduated

      • Ah! Was it an American college and he pitched, or a Dominican one? Though I guess if he is just now learning English he must have gone to college in Latin America. I hope he makes it just because of his name even without regards to his stuff. Yeah for Yeudy!

        • It was in the Dominican. He has really learned English quickly. I talked to him in 2014 and the conversation was all in Spanish. By last June-July, he was having conversations in English and it’s even better now.

          • Thanks John. Interesting that you are bilingual!

            • I wouldn’t go that far, I know just enough from talking to the players mostly. Took Spanish a few years in school too.