Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 Prospect Projections: Yeudy Garcia

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that must live and die by its prospects. In a new series, PBD will project each of the team’s Top 20 prospects in 2017.

Welcome to a new recurring series here at Pirates Breakdown in which we count down and project the 2017 seasons for each of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Top 20 prospects, ranked as per MLB Pipeline.

Today we will take a look at the team’s #12 overall prospect – and potential future closer – in Yeudy Garcia.

Prospect Primer

Garcia was the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league pitcher of the year in 2015, showeing much promise during that season for the West Virginia Power. Yeudy signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic. Garcia is pretty new to the scene, as he did not make his debut with the organization until 2014. He is known for his big build and an equally a big fastball. Not to be outdone, his breaking ball and changeup are both serviceable as thing stand right now.


When looking at Yeudy’s arsenal, the fastball jumps out right away. He has proven in the past that his fastball can touch 99 mph, and sits in the mid 90s. It is certainly his out pitch at this point in his career and he does a nice job locating it, usually.

Garcia will compliment his fastball with a hard breaking slider. Yeudy does a great job of using these pitches as a 1-2 punch throughout his starts. In 2015 he generated a 2.1 ERA over 124.1 innings pitched with 112 strikeouts with the West Virginia Power. That kind of strikeout ability is tantalizing at such a young point in his professional career.

In 2016 he followed that up at A+ Bradenton with a 2.76 ERA over 127.1 innings pitched with 127 strikeouts. There is simply a lot to like about this young pitcher.

Areas of Improvement

One of the main areas that Garcia must improve is his off-speed pitch selection. Garcia will use a change-up, but sparingly. He will totally abandon the pitch if he is not around the strike zone with it, if you watch many of his starts. Garcia and the Pittsburgh Pirates will have to decide if he wants to stick with the change-up he already has in his arsenal or if he wants to go in a different direction. It will be up to the Pirates minor league pitching staffs to help Yeudy figure out what they should do going forward. If he were able to develop a 12-6 curveball, that could be deadly with his high velocity heater.

Another area of Garcia’s game that receives correction from his coaches is his wind-up. As you will notice on the video, his motion is all over the place at times. He does not do a good job replicating his delivery on a consistent basis. Garcia needs to iron that out, as it could hurt his control down the road at higher minor league levels against better hitters.


Where He Starts 2017

There is a good chance that Garcia will be the #1 pitcher in the Bradenton starting rotation. Garcia continues to show great promise going forward and continues to climb the Pirates system. It will be interesting to watch in 2017 if Garcia has developed any kind of off-speed pitches that he can throw on a consistent basis. That could take his game to a whole new level.

However, if developing a third pitch continues to be a mystery for him, Garcia has the stuff to be a dominant bullpen arm, and a possible late-inning option. Some feel this is Garcia’s ultimate destination, but the organization is continuing to bring him up as a starter for the time being.

Where he ends 2017

If Garcia experiences similar success in Bradenton that he did last season, he may receive the call to Altoona. That would provide Garcia with a bigger challenge and could help him grow as a pitcher. Garcia has some of the things scouts look for in MLB starters, but we will have to wait and see if Garcia uses his tools accordingly.


Image Credit – MLB.com

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