The Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed 25-year-old right-handed pitcher Oliver Garcia to a minor league deal.
Garcia missed most of the 2022 season due to a right elbow injury. He originally signed with the Pirates in October of 2015, then reached minor league free agency at the end of the 2022 season. He put up strong stats as a reliever in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, then again as a starter in the DSL in 2017. He struggled with the jump to Bristol in 2018, then got moved back to the bullpen, where he saw an increase in his velocity.
Garcia had a 2.25 ERA in 20 appearances in 2019, spreading his time over three levels. He had to sit out the canceled 2020 season, then went to High-A Greensboro when he returned in 2021. He posted a 4.42 ERA in 53 innings, with 52 strikeouts and a high walk rate that led to a 1.47 WHIP. His 2022 season was limited to four innings over three appearances, with no earned runs.
He gets his fastball into the mid-90s, mixing it with a slider and a changeup.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.