Deivi Garcia: Yankees 2020 Rookie Of The Year
When it came to identifying which rookie delivered the most for the Yankees in 2020 it wasn’t necessary to look further than the mound.
That is where 21-year-old righthander Deivi Garcia made a big splash in his first taste of the big leagues. The 5-foot-9 Dominican pitched very well in four of his first five starts, had a bad one and finished with a solid one.
While the Yankees' young pitching discussions don’t start and end with Garcia, he had the most impact this season. He went 3-2, 4.98 in six starts while striking out 33 and walking six in 34.1 innings.
Clarke Schmidt, the 2017 first-rounder out of South Carolina, made two relief appearances and started the final game of the season.
Miguel Yajure, a 22-year-old righthander from Venezuela, pitched well in three relief outings, recording a 1.29 ERA with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Righthander Michael King ran up a 7.76 ERA in nine appearances, four of them starts.
Yet it was Garcia who made the most impact in 2020, impressed teammates and earned a spot on the postseason roster.
“The aggressiveness, the command and the balance and repeatability of his delivery,” Gerrit Cole said when asked what stood out about Garcia. “And he has an idea of what he wants to do and what he’s looking for. I think he’s advanced in all of those categories.”
Garcia is short for a major league starter and looks younger than 21, but opponents would be wise not to be fooled by his appearance.
“Deivi can execute any pitch and he has four pitches,” catcher Gary Sanchez said of Garcia, who signed in 2015. “He’s out there with a lot of confidence. He’s fearless. It feels like he’s been in the league for years.”
With veteran starters Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and James Paxton eligible for free agency this offseason, there is a strong possibility rotation spots will be available for Garcia, Schmidt and other rookies to compete for in 2021.
— On the position side of the equation the Yankees didn’t give much playing time to rookies. Outfielder Estevan Florial appeared in one game and had three at-bats.