Deivi Garcia didn’t pay much attention to the trade deadline Wednesday. He’s the top prospect in the Yankees’ minor-league system, and the rumors were swirling. But the righthander didn’t bother with them.
His friends? That’s another story.
“The only things I heard and read about were things from my friends that they were able to screenshot and send over to me where my name was mentioned or thrown around,” Garcia said Friday through a translator. “But I was able to keep the mindset that I’d be able to finish out here and stay with the organization.”
As Garcia spoke, he sat in Moosic, Pennsylvania, as a player for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline came and went and Garcia stayed put, which is exactly where he wants to be.
“I’ve had a great time and enjoyed every step of the way,” he said. “The treatment I’ve gotten has been first-class. Being in the organization is something I get to appreciate and take in and not take for granted. I’m somebody that goes to work every day and focuses on the things I can control. That helps me keep everything in perspective.”
Garcia has moved up the ranks quickly. He started the season at high Class A Tampa and, after four starts, moved up to Double-A Trenton for 11 starts, striking out 87 in 53 2⁄3 innings. On July 11, Garcia was assigned to Scranton.
Three levels in four months is lot of movement for a 20-year-old, even a highly touted one.
“The biggest adjustment, and it’s been a blessing in disguise and a big benefit, is that I’ve had to adjust quickly on the move,” Garcia said. “It’s something that you get to do a lot in this game and being able to adjust to the fields, the atmosphere and the culture that each team brings is something that I’m able to take in, assimilate and adjust on the move. I see it as something that’s been a good thing.”
Garcia is 5-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 19 starts across three levels of the minors this season. He has struck out 138 and walked 42 in 90 1⁄3 innings.
Since arriving in Scranton, Garcia is 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts. He has struck out 18 and walked eight in 19 innings. He allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings and struck out four in a 6-1 loss to Rochester on Wednesday.
“Last game, I thought his focus and intent on every pitch was a lot better, all the way through the finish,” Scranton pitching coach Tommy Phelps said. “ . . . I felt like he’s commanding the ball better. His changeup has been a big part of his repertoire and he’s using it more at this level. The [first] two outings, he wasn’t able to land his breaking balls as consistently as he had in Double-A.”
Garcia agreed with Phelps’ assessment, citing his curveball as a pitch that’s been particularly inconsistent.
“One of the things I’ve been working on is my separation and extension through my arm when it comes to throwing the breaking pitches, which is something I’ve been inconsistent with,” he said. “I feel like that will get me in the right direction and get me headed to where I want to go.”
For now, it’s not as much about where Garcia wants to go as where he’s staying.
“I want to be able to locate my pitches where I want and be able to stay consistent with it all,’’ he said, “because I know that when that happens, a lot of good things are happening.”