Back in 2004, the Baltimore Orioles drafted a young pitcher named Jaime Garcia. Unfortunately, he did not sign with the team.
Thirteen years later, it could be worth investigating what Garcia could offer to the Baltimore Orioles during this Hot Stove season.
Like all starting pitchers in the 2018 free agent class, Garcia has several good things going for him, but he also has a few flaws in his game, too.
A bit of history
Garcia is a 31-year-old left-handed pitcher who grew up in the border towns in The Valley in Texas. After passing up the opportunity to play in the Orioles organization in 2004, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals a year later. He moved up and down through the Majors and minors during his time with the Cardinals. He found consistency with the Cards in 2010, despite the team’s trial at getting him into The Show earlier than that.
The recent numbers on Garcia
In his time with the Cards, he pitched a 3.69 ERA and had a win-loss percentage of .549. As his 2017 free agency was on the horizon, the Cards traded him at the end of the 2016 season to get a few minor league players from the Atlanta Braves.
Garcia’s 2017 season was characterized by several moves. He started the season with the Braves, then was sent to the Minnesota Twins in July. A week later, the Twins traded him to the New York Yankees. With all of that moving between teams and leagues, Garcia finished the season with a 4.41 ERA with 27 starts. In that time, he gave up 18 home runs and struck out 129 batters. He faced a total of 673 batters in 157 innings.
Closest comparisons are notable
More from Orioles News
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
Baseball Reference shares a statistic that provides an interesting insight on baseball players. They call it “Similarity Scores” and it is used to provide players that have similar statistics and gameplay. Garcia’s closest players are notable: Dallas Keuchel has the closest stats to Garcia. Other current pitchers on Garcia’s list include Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana.
What he throws
Garcia has a few pitches in his arsenal. According to FanGraphs, he likes his fastball which averages about 90 MPH, but with serious movement that stymies batters. He also uses a changeup which averages in the mid-80s and a curveball that averages in the mid-70s. Garcia also has a slider that he throws in the low 80s but in earlier seasons, he threw a cutter at the same speed. About 25% of his pitches end up as fly balls with 56% of them resulting in groundballs. With those numbers, he could do well pitching at Camden Yards, especially if he could up his groundball numbers.
Back in 2004, the Orioles saw something they liked in this pitcher. Now, they have the opportunity to actually close the deal on him.