SF Giants Post-Prospect Prospects:
#12 RHP Rico Garcia
Acquired: Waivers (2020, via COL)
Future Value: 35+
Career MLB Stats: 11 G, 12 IP, 9.00 ERA, 8.44 FIP, 5.3 BB/9, 3.8 K/9
26-year-old pitcher Rico Garcia made his MLB debut in 2019 after rising through the minor league ranks as a 30th-round pick in the 2016 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. The short right-hander from Hawaii didn’t receive a professional opportunity until he was 22, but he’s made the most of the time since.
Garcia was knocked around in a pair of appearances with the Rockies last season, but his minor league track record was intriguing enough for the Giants to add him on waivers this offseason.
In a strong 2019 campaign, Garcia posted a 4.24 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 129.1 innings over 26 starts between Double-A and Triple-A. All of the Rockies minor-league parks are in very hitter-friendly environments to try and prepare their pitching prospects to play in Coors Field. Making his numbers even more noteworthy.
Garcia has solid stuff, but nothing exceptional. As a starter, his fastball sits in the low-90s and works alongside a potential plus breaking ball and adequate changeup. As Giants fans saw out of the bullpen this season, Garcia was sitting in the mid-90s, which added another element to his repertoire. It’s easy to see why the Giants thought he could handle a high-leverage bullpen role.
Garcia can throw strikes, but his lack of command in the zone caused him some particular problems this season. Across 9 appearances, Garcia only walked 2, but struck out just 3, and allowed 12 hits. After posting a 7.50 ERA over the first couple weeks of the season, the Giants optioned him to the alternate site.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Giants give him a chance to return to starting. The Rockies built him up to be a 180-200 inning guy and he has the stuff to potentially handle that role. Of course, the command will still need to take some huge steps forward. In all likelihood though, his future is in the bullpen where he has the stuff to be a solid arm if he can find consistency.