The future is growing brighter for a pair of Yankees prospects, as infielder Dermis Garcia and right-hander Mike King have been selected as the club's MLB Pipeline Prospects of the Year.
Though the Yankees were unable to convince Shohei Ohtani to come to the Bronx this past offseason, they are experimenting with developing their own two-way player. The 20-year-old Garcia, who was named Player of the Year, is a corner infielder whose arm strength has prompted coaches to give him a whirl on the mound.:: Complete prospect coverage ::
"The way his fastball goes, and the way his body works, it looks like what a raw pitcher should look like. And it's easy to dream big on a guy like that," Yankees Minor League pitching coordinator Danny Borrell recently told Yankees Magazine.
Garcia, 20, spent his 2018 season with Class A Charleston, where he batted .241/.320/.444 with 17 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in 88 games while playing first and third base. In bullpen sessions, he has shown a mid-90s fastball and some feel for his curveball and changeup.
MLB Pipeline's top-rated prospect in the 2014-15 international crop, Garcia received a $3 million bonus due in large part to his top-of-the-scale raw power. He boasts outstanding bat speed and strength, though it remains to be seen how Garcia will fare against more advanced pitching. He walked 36 times against 111 strikeouts in 324 at-bats this year.
Garcia is currently ranked as the Yankees' No. 29 prospect by MLB Pipeline, with a big league ETA of 2021.
King, 23, was named the Yankees' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He was acquired from the Marlins in November of last season and quickly rose through the ranks of the Yankees' system to finish the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. King opened the year with Class A Tampa, where he logged a 1.79 ERA in seven starts to earn a promotion six weeks into the season.
At Double-A Trenton, King was 6-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 12 games (11 starts), striking out 76 against 13 walks with 65 hits allowed in 82 innings. A 12th-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft, King's performance was even sharper at Triple-A, where King was 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA in six starts. His 152 strikeouts and 161 1/3 innings on the season led all Yankees Minor Leaguers.
"He's got late movement, and he commands it really well," Triple-A pitching coach Tommy Phelps said. "He keeps it down in the zone when he wants. He can really locate in his lanes to both sides of the plate."
Rated as the Yankees' No. 24 prospect by MLB Pipeline, King's best attributes are said to be his two-seam fastball and his command. He has a Major League ETA of 2019.
"For being a younger guy and just getting to Triple-A, he's one of the most -- if not the most -- prepared pitchers I've been around," Phelps said. "He knows how to dissect the other team's lineup, read swings, make adjustments."
Each team's Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.
In 2017, MLB Pipeline selected outfielder Estevan Florial and right-hander Chance Adams as the Yankees' recipients.