Thursday Farm Report: Garcia Pitching Himself into Legit Prospect Status
Rico Garcia was a 30th-round draft choice in 2016, a four-year college player from Hawaii Pacific. Area scout Matt Hattabaugh liked the way Garcia went about his business, and the Rockies felt he could be one of those late-ground guys who could be competitive, and help fill out a roster.
Two years later, Garcia is proving to be that, and then some. He was a good solider the past two seasons, spending 2014 at short-season A Boise and then returning to pitch at Boise again in 2015 before being elevated to Low-A Asheville, where he appeared in eight games, making four starts.
Now, look at him. He is pitching his way into a Top 30 Prospect status, having claimed an All-Star berth at High A Lancaster, and pitching even better than ever in seven starts since he was promoted to Double-A Hartford.
Zach Wilson, who oversees the Rockies farm system, said the credit goes to Garcia for his work ethic, desire to get better and ability to listen to and adapt to what the Rockies minor-league staff has suggested.
"His delivery has come together," said Wilson. "He's compact and over the rubber. His velocity is up three miles per hour. He sits 94 to 96 miles per hour, and will touch a bit higher at time."
He is durable. He has thrown 140 innings, the most of any pitcher in the organization, including the big leagues, where Kyle Freeland hasa team-high 139 innings. And he has not shown any sign of fading. He has five quality starts in his last six starts, and in the one exception he worked five shutout innings.
He allowed two runs in seven innings of Hartford's 5-2 victory at Harrisburg on Wednesday night, improving his record at double-A to 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA, and giving him an 11-8, 3.19 ERA including his time at Lancaster.
"You combine our process with the type of kid he is, his atittude, practice habits and ability to pitch with intent," said Wilson. "He is a competitive kid, and I think he has gained a lot of confidence."
The Garcia Files
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In Wednesday's Games
AAA Albuquerque (53-62) was off.
AA Hartford (53-60) won 5-2 at Harrisburg. Garcia did the heavy lifting, and Reid Humphreys (4.91) earned his second save. Brandon Bednar (.305) hit his fifth home run, with two men on in the third, and Omar Corrizales (.222) doubled and hit a two-run home run, his second.
High A Lancaster (29-17 2nd half; 62-54) won 8-7 in 10 innings against Lancaster. Bret Boswell (.310), in his seventh game since being promoted from Low-A Asheville, hit home runs in the fourth and 10th innings. Heath Holder (8-0, 3.42) allowed an unearned run and one hit in one inning, and was credited with the win. Ty Culberth (6.11) allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out seven, in six innings.
Low A Asheville (22-22 2nd half; 49-64) lost 4-2 at Lexington. Catcher Nic Motley (.244) doubled to drive in one run, and scored the Tourists' other run on a Matt Hearn (.267) triple. Frederis Parra (2-3, 4.61) allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits and a walk, striking out five, in six innings.
Short-season A Boise (4-9 2nd half; 25-26) and Rookie Grand Junction (8-4 2nd half; 28-22) were off for the Northwest League-Pioneer League All-Star Game.
Dominican Southern League South (20-38) lost 4-2 to the Yankees. Manual Tovar (0-2, 10.80) allowed four runs on four hits and two walks, striking out three, in 1 2/3 innings. Bladimir Restituyo (.291) was 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored.
Dominican Summer League Northeast (40-16) won 7-1 at Tigers2. Anderson Amarista (6-5, 3.25) allowed one unearned run on seven hits, striking out seven, in seven innings. Steven Fana (.281) doubled and hit his seventh home run, driving in two runs. Walking Cabrera (.248) was 3-for-4 and drove in three runs.