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Deivi Garcia gets good reviews despite shaky Triple-A debut

Starting pitcher Deivi Garcia of the American League

Starting pitcher Deivi Garcia of the American League pitches during the first inning agains the National League during the All-Star Futures Game at Progressive Field on July 7 in Cleveland. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jason Miller

Deivi Garcia’s debut for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre didn’t go as well as he might have hoped Monday, but that didn’t lessen opposing team scouts’ enthusiasm about the 20-year-old righthander.

Garcia, who is among the top prospects in the Yankees’ organization and learned of his promotion to Triple-A a short time before taking the mound in the Futures Game during the All-Star break, allowed three runs and six hits, including a two-run homer, in five innings against Columbus.

“Runs came on a few mistakes that got capitalized on,” one rival evaluator said. “But overall stuff and feel and command of all four pitches was above average. Has great mound presence and composure.”

Garcia, who struck out 114 batters in 68 2⁄3 innings between high Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, struck out six and walked one Monday. The 5-9, 163-pound pitcher throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball, slider, curveball and changeup.

“He’s [Marcus] Stroman but with better stuff,” said one American League executive, coincidentally mentioning the smallish Blue Jays ace from Long Island who could be a trade target for the Yankees before the July 31 deadline.

Garcia features a fastball that generally will touch 96 mph and sits at 94, what one National League talent evaluator calls “just a nasty slider” and a superb curveball.

“As good as his slider is, his curveball is better,” the evaluator said. “What he’s done really well is throw his secondary pitches in fastball counts for strikes.”   

King on the hill

Righthander Michael King, 24, a touted prospect who was sidelined early in spring training with a stress reaction in his right elbow, had his second Gulf Coast League outing Monday. He allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out one in 1 2⁄3 innings.

Day for Didi

Didi Gregorius, in a 2-for-26 slide, did not start Monday night and was replaced at shortstop by Gleyber Torres.

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