The Yankees began the 2020 season with a fully loaded squad. However, they were, once again decimated with injuries. Starting pitchers James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and Luis Severino all missed time in 2020. This put the originations depth to the test and forced top prospects, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Albert Abreu to pitch on the big stage probably before they were ready. Schmidt had never pitched above the double-A level before making his debut this season. On the other hand, Abreu has pitched above double-A but was considered very raw. That is probably why he was used as an innings eater type reliever. Deivi Garcia was the only one who showed flashes of being a major league ready pitcher. At times he looked elite and unhittable. With that said where does Garcia fit in 2021?
Who is Deivi Garcia?
Garcia is a right-hander out of The Dominican Republic. He stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and goes by the nickname “Lil Pedro” after former Red Sock legend and hall of famer Pedro Martinez. He made his major league debut on August 30th of 2020 against the New York Mets. Garcia was signed in the summer of 2015 for 100,000 dollars as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Garcia is a five-pitch pitcher with a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball. He also throws a sharp breaking slider with a 12-6 curveball with an occasional changeup.
He generates a lot of power for someone his size with his hardest fastball coming out of his hand at just over 96 mph. His slider comes out at the exact same release point and tunnels off his fastball topping out at around 87 mph. His seldom used change has more of a circle change grip to it and dives down and away from left-handed batters. This makes it an effective outpitch to lefties in particular. The curveball is without question his most effective strikeout pitch. It has a sharp 12-6 style break to it with a very slight cutting action towards the end. What really makes this pitch effective however is the range of velocity in which he throws it. The pitch comes in at varying speeds. He has thrown it a top speed of 77 mph and its slowest velocity ay 72 mph.
He also throws a sharp breaking slider that has its own velocity difference. As I said before it tunnels off his fastball so it is extremely difficult for hitters to spot the difference between the two. It averages 83 mph and around 12 inches of break. He has thrown it at a top velocity of 87 mph. Again this is elite velocity for someone of his size. For someone as young as Garcia having a deceptive pitch mix like that can play even more as his career progresses.
Where does he fit?
We are very early into the offseason so it is unclear what the Yankees will do with the rotation. As of now, there are three starters on the free-agent market. Those three are James Paxton Masahiro Tanaka and J.A.Happ. While it is unclear if any of those guys will be resigned but if they aren’t it leaves two spots in the rotation.
At the moment the top of the rotation is headed by two elite pitchers in Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino. Outside of that the rest of it is a little unclear. Domingo German is slated to start the season on the exempt/suspended list for the first three games of the season. Owner Hal Steinbrenner also has said that he is unsure if the team will hold onto German amid his domestic violence allegations. With the Yankees current roster, they have Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, the aforementioned Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, Garcia, and Clarke Schmidt as their top six starters going into next season so it is completely possible that Garcia breaks camp with the big league club for the first time in his career. If he can continue to shine as he did in his rookie campaign the Yankees might not need to bring anybody new in.