When the Cubs announced their September minor league pitcher of the month in 2022 as Daniel Palencia, I felt like 19-year-old Carlos Garcia had been robbed. Garcia did not allow an entire run that month. In 21 innings, he struck out 20 and had a batting average against of .192 while walking just three. That’s about as impressive a month as one could ever possibly have. And yet, most Cubs fans don’t know a thing about him.
Age – 19
Throws – Left
Height – 6–foot-4
Weight – 190
Signed as an international free agent on May 18, 2021.
When the Cubs announced they signed Garcia back in May, it didn’t really cause much of a stir. The lefty out of Cuba was said to have a fastball around 93 and his representation thought that he would begin his career in Myrtle Beach. That did not happen. Instead, García went to the Dominican Summer League and put on a dazzling display of pitching month-by-month.
The first thing you take notice about Garcia is his size. He is living in a man’s body at age 19. It looks like he knows where the weight room is as he is pretty chiseled.
Garcia’s first month in Dominican went well In July. He pitched 10 innings over four games, two of which were starts. He also struck out 13 and had a batting average against a .118. In August, things got a little better as he had a 2.20 ERA and struck out 14 in 12 innings over seven games. Six of those were actually starts.
The thing you need to remember about the Dominican is they rarely let the starters go more than three innings unless they’re being extremely efficient. So Garcia was going out there and more than likely only going through the order once. In his 15 games, he pitched four innings four times. In other words, he has yet to see the fifth inning on the mound.
To Do List for 2022
1. This is Garcia‘s first off-season as a Cub and it’s imperative that he follow strict measures put in place by the Cubs to make sure that he’s in shape and ready to go once he arrives stateside. It’s unclear where he’s going to go and play in 2022. He’s probably going to be in extended spring training and, based on how he does there, he could find his way to Myrtle Beach but more than likely he will be stateside in Mesa. He’s going to be 19 until the middle of the summer as he turns 20 on July 12.
2. Nutrition – The best thing Garcia can do once he gets here is to continue to take care of body by eating healthy. What Garcia will want to avoid is putting on the wrong kind of weight.
3. Keep refining secondaries – What’s going to separate Garcia from other pitchers over the next couple of levels will be his secondary pitches. Just how well he can command them in the strike zone will determine his success. In watching him throw in one Dominican Summer League game this summer/fall, he did have trouble throwing the curve from time to time and it also looked like he was throwing a slider or a slurve as well. It’ll be interesting to see what he throws when he gets to full season baseball.
Lead Photo of Garcia via Francys Romero@francysromeroFR on Twitter