Sunday, February 12, 2017

2017 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #16 LHP Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia, image- Jay Floyd
Elniery Garcia is one of the Phillies' most prominent pitching prospects and possibly the top southpaw among the organization's rising performers.

Signed as a 17-year-old in 2011, Garcia would open his professional career in the Dominican Summer League the following year, sporting a 2-1 record with a 4.18 ERA and a .253 batting average against in eight appearances.

The following year, he pitched in the rookie level Gulf Coast League posting a 1-3 record with a 5.15 ERA and a .291 BAA in nine starts.

In 2014, the progressing Garcia would split his time in the GCL and with the short-season Class A Williamsport team.  In 11 combined games (four starts), he tallied a 2-2 record with a 2.64 ERA and a .254 BAA while striking out 28 and walking six in 30 2/3 innings.

He would debut in full season ball the following year with Class A Lakewood.  In 21 starts for the BlueClaws,Garcia notched an 8-9 record with a 3.21 ERA, a .275 BAA as well as a 5.0 K/9 mark.

Last season, the six-foot tall 155-pounder stepped up and looked more like a standout talent.  In 20 games (19 starts) as a member of the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, en route to being honored as a Florida State League All-Star,  he posted a 12-4 record with a 2.68 ERA, a .219 BAA along with a 7.0 K/9 mark.

The left-hander would make his Double-A debut with Reading in the post-season last year, collecting a win in the Eastern League division series against Trenton.  In six innings of work, he surrendered three runs (two earned) while striking out four and walking one.

Garcia's repertoire includes a solid three-pitch mix.  In previous seasons, his fastball resided mainly in the low-90's but saw some added zip in 2016 getting up to 95 MPH on multiple occasions.  His curveball looks to be a go-to offering with good, sweeping movement.  His change up appeared to be a pitch    that the youngster focused on improving, as it's key for starters to have a good collection of offerings.

In his career, Garcia has added strength and has shown steady improvements.  Members of the coaching staff have praised his ability to work through difficult spots and they like his mental toughness.

A member of the Phils' 40-man roster, Garcia is set to get some exposure with the big club during spring training.

He'll pitch the entire 2017 season as a 22-year-old and would likely return to the Reading rotation to open the year. 

You can follow along with this year’s Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link
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