NICK GARCIA, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: April 20, 1999
Height: 6′ 4″
Drafted: 3rd Round, 79th Overall, 2020
How Acquired: Draft
College: Chapman University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|When the Pirates selected him, Garcia became the second highest-drafted Divison III player ever, behind Jordan Zimmerman. He went to Chapman as a third baseman, but moved to the mound to serve as closer in his sophomore year. He had a big year and was named the outstanding player in the college world series when Chapman won the Division III title. In 2019, Garcia allowed just 31 hits and 14 walks in 56 innings, while fanning 82. He moved to the rotation in the abbreviated 2020 season and moved quickly up draft boards. Baseball America rated him the 56th best prospect in the draft.
At the time he was drafted, Garcia’s fastball sat at 92-95 mph and reached the upper-90s. His slider and cutter are potential plus pitches. Obviously he has limited experience and mileage; he also was young for a college junior. Garcia signed for well above the slot value of $780,400.
Garcia wasn’t at the Pirates’ alternate training site, but he was in fall instructionals following the canceled season.
Garcia spent the season at Bradenton, initially as a reliever and then as a starter. He made 13 starts and eight relief appearances in all. He didn’t show the kind of stuff he reportedly had when drafted, with his fastball mostly in the low-90s. He had some trouble with walks and a little with gopher balls. He had a lot of trouble with left-handed hitters, who posted an .826 OPS against him. Right-handed hitters managed only .660. Garcia also had a home/road split, with a .766 opponents’ OPS at home and .659 on the road.
Garcia made 23 starts for Greensboro and built up a good innings total. A rough July hurt his numbers, but he recovered in August. Overall, his ERA and WHIP beat the league averages easily, although his K rate wasn’t as good. His control improved from the previous year. Garcia had some gopher ball problems at home — 11 of the 15 he allowed came there — but his opponents’ OPS was slightly higher on the road, so the home park wasn’t a big issue. Garcia had a moderate, reverse platoon split, so left-handed hitters weren’t a problem.
Garcia hasn’t shown the kind of stuff the Pirates seemed to be expecting, but he’s made good progress.
|2023: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $1,200,000
MiLB Debut: 2021
MiLB FA Eligible: 2026
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2023
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 11, 2020: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd round, 79th overall pick; signed on July 2.|