Nick Garcia is having himself a great start to the season for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Drafted 79th overall out of Chapman, Garcia has posted a 3.59 ERA in 16 appearances, 14 starts, owning a 3-2 record. He even collected a complete game (seven inning) shutout earlier in the season, in which he earned South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors.
Maybe one thing that the 23-year-old righty could look to improve upon was the strikeout numbers. Entering his start on Wednesday, Garcia had struck out 60 batters in 67 2/3 innings pitched — not horrible numbers but an higher amount would be more ideal at High-A.
Pitching against the Brooklyn Cyclones, the New York Mets affiliate, Garcia showed some of that swing and miss potential, striking out a career high nine batters in five innings. Despite allowing two runs and getting the loss, it was one of the best outings of the season for Garcia.
Using his two-seam fastball one both sides of the plate, against both lefties and righties, was a big part in Garcia’s success, setting him for success and the nine strikeouts.
In the first video, it shows three strikeouts, with Garcia doing a little bit of everything on his way to get them. In the opening clip, Garcia throws all fastballs to the first batter of the game, throwing high, low, and on both sides of the plate.
He finally got the batter looking at a fastball at the knees for a called strike three. In the next clip, Garcia started to incorporate the curveball, which he used to get several swings and misses. After falling behind 2-0, Garcia throws a curve and fastball on the outer corner of the plate for called strikes. He finishes up the batter with another curveball, getting a swing and miss strike three.
With the first batter being a lefty, Garcia threw the two-seam tailing away from the hitter. Against a righty in the final clip he throws the pitch away and has it break back-door for a called strike one, followed by a swing and a miss. He would later get the hitter with the curveball to close out the fifth inning and was the last batter he would face.
One last clip shows a string of batters Garcia faced. After a leadoff double, Garcia digs in and goes two-seam heavy, first getting a pop-out before getting the final two batters by way of strikeout. The last batter he attacks with a lot of back-door two-seam fastballs, getting three swing and misses just in that at-bat to get out of the inning without giving up a run.
Garcia threw a total of 84 pitches on Wednesday, with 56 of them going for strikes. Of those 56 strikes he threw, 15 of them were swinging strikes (26.7%). Obviously with Greensboro games not being readily available on stream, we haven’t had a chance to see him pitch too often.
Still, even going back to Bradenton this is one of the better outings from Garcia, and after not pitching in college much, you can see him starting to evolve into the type of pitcher that could allow him to have continued success.
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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.