Remember Deivi Garcia? Former top Yankees prospect working way back with Somerset Patriots

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BRIDGEWATER – Perhaps you’ve forgotten about Deivi Garcia.

Once on a trajectory where it seemed he’d be a regular in the New York Yankees rotation – even memorably making a postseason start in 2020 – little has gone right for the 23-year-old right-hander, who has made just two big league appearances since and largely struggled out of the spotlight with Triple-A Scranton.

After a nightmare 2021 campaign in which he went 3-7 with a 6.85 ERA in 24 appearances for the RailRiders, it was seemingly more of the same this year; the Dominican native began this season with an 0-3 mark and 10.38 ERA in seven starts, walking 16 batters compared to just 18 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings before an undisclosed injury got him shut down at the end of May.

“At the beginning, it was kind of hard, I wasn’t expecting an injury to arise,” Garcia told reporters at TD Bank Ballpark on Thursday through interpreter and Yankees cultural development coordinator Hector Gonzalez.

“That’s why it was kind of hard at the beginning. Luckily, I was able to recuperate. Right now, I feel great, and that’s the reason why I’m here.”

Oct 6, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) delivers a pitch in the 1st inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during game two of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) delivers a pitch in the 1st inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during game two of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Here, of course, is in Double-A with the Somerset Patriots, at least for the time being, as Garcia has made his first starts at the level since the 2019 season, when he was rocketing through the farm system as a member of the Trenton Thunder.

So far, so good.

His team debut in Richmond went well; he spun four scoreless innings against the Flying Squirrels last Thursday, allowing no walks and just two hits while striking out six. His first home outing was also largely a success, as the three runs he gave up were all unearned on the way to ultimately throwing three innings with five strikeouts against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Tuesday night.

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Garcia is set to take the ball again for the Patriots in Sunday’s series finale and is just as set on working to fulfill the potential he had as arguably the top pitching prospect in the organization as recently as the start of last season.

“Persistency and consistency are key, very important,” Garcia said. “Just continue of having that mindset daily to go back to the big leagues. Once you’re there, you want to stay there, so consistency is key.”

Anthony Volpe, Austin Wells reflect on trade deadline

While the Yankees made a trio of trades at the deadline that saw a multitude of their prospects headed to other teams, their core group of top position players in the minors remained largely untouched.

That includes both Anthony Volpe and Austin Wells, currently the top- and fourth-rated prospects, respectively, by Baseball America.

As part of a wide-ranging media availability in Bridgewater on Thursday, both players were asked about their experiences of hearing their names in various rumors that ultimately never came to fruition.

Watchung native Anthony Volpe, the New York Yankees’ top prospect, speaks on the field during the Somerset Patriots’ media day at TD Bank Ballpark on Wednesday.
Watchung native Anthony Volpe, the New York Yankees’ top prospect, speaks on the field during the Somerset Patriots’ media day at TD Bank Ballpark on Wednesday.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Wells said. “I didn’t have any anxiety going into that last week, I was just playing baseball and having fun doing that. There was nothing I could really do about it, so there was no reason stressing about it.”

Volpe, whose name was thrown around in various proposals, real or otherwise, in a possible Juan Soto deal, echoed similar sentiments.

“It’s great to be a part of this team and a part of this organization, it’s the only one I really know and have experienced,” he said. “I don’t know necessarily if it was a stressful week just because it’s so far out of my control and the other guys in the clubhouse. We were just enjoying the time together and trying to go out there and compete every day. There’s so much stuff going on off the field, but you’re playing every single night. That was the best part about it, that we had a game every night, and you could focus on stuff that you could control.”

As both Volpe and Wells stuck around, many of their teammates across the organization did not – Luis Medina was the only current Patriots player dealt – and while both were able to maintain their focus on the respective tasks at hand for them on the field, it was difficult to not notice the human element of the deadline, where friends they’d both come up through the system with were being moved elsewhere.

“It’s tough,” Wells said. “A lot of those guys are great players and even better people. A lot of guys who were great clubhouse guys, great friends, moving on to another team.  But it’s a great opportunity for them to go and advance in another organization. So, I’m happy for them, but also sad to see them go.”

This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Deivi Garcia: Yankees pitcher rebounding with Somerset Patriots