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Yankees Hopeful Deivi García Can Snap Out of Early Season Struggles

García's numbers in Triple-A to start the 2022 season are even worse than his brutal performance last year.

NEW YORK — Once ranked as the second-best pitching prospect in the Yankees organization, Deivi García has been on a steep decline over the last few years. 

To start the 2022 season, down in Triple-A, it's only getting worse. 

García, 23, has a 9.90 ERA over six appearances with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Across 20 innings pitched, the right-hander has allowed 22 earned runs and 27 hits, walking 16 batters while striking out 18. His WHIP is sitting at 2.15. 

"Deivi, yeah, still struggling," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Saturday before New York's win over the White Sox. "Some inconsistencies and yeah, hopefully we can get him rolling."

When the right-hander made his big-league debut during the pandemic-shortened campaign in 2020, his potential was on full display. García was spectacular in his debut against the Mets on August 30, finishing the regular season with a 4.98 ERA over six starts. 

Any progress that García made in his development as a rookie vanished the next spring, though. The right-hander struggled mightily for the entirety of the 2021 season with the RailRiders, posting a 6.85 ERA over 24 appearances. 

He only made two big-league starts in '21, facing the Orioles in April and the Tigers in May. García permitted six earned runs in those two outings—New York lost both games.  

Command was a key issue for García a year ago—with the prospect's unique, contorting windup—and it's gotten even worse. The 23-year-old had a 6.75 walk-per-nine ratio in 2021. That number is up to 7.20 so far in 2022.

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Plus, when he does find the zone, opponents aren't missing. Opposing hitters in Triple-A are hitting .325 this season against García with 12.19 hits per nine and a 1.019 OPS, the worst numbers of García's entire professional career to this point.

"I do feel like obviously when he came into spring training, felt like he was in a pretty good place and made some really good adjustments and threw the ball well in spring but so far it's been a slow start for him," Boone added.

That progress Boone alluded to from spring training included a spike in García's velocity and some promising production, albeit in a small spring sample size. At this point, that feels like a distant memory.

García was New York's No. 3 prospect in 2020, per MLB Pipeline. This year, he barely made the cut in the club's top 30, ranked as the Yankees' No. 28 prospect.

In other words, less than two years after his first taste of the big leagues, pitching well enough to make a postseason appearance for New York, García is pitching his way out of the conversation for any sort of role in pinstripes going forward. He was supposed to factor into the equation with New York's big-league pitching staff by now, but instead, he's headed in the other direction.

Boone is hopeful, but it looks like it's going to take a dramatic reversal—or unforeseen circumstances—for García to return to the Bronx in 2022 and beyond.

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