A look at the top 20 prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm system starts off with left-handed pitcher Elniery Garcia at No. 20.
2017 could have been a big year for Phillies prospect Elniery Garcia. He pitched well in High-A Clearwater in 2016 and was making the jump to Double-A Reading. There was no indication that he would struggle there, and it could have been the year he jumped to the forefront of the prospect conversation.
Instead, an 80-game PED suspension kept Garcia from logging any significant amount of innings this year. He didn’t make his season debut in Reading until Aug. 9 after a quick pit stop in the Gulf Coast League. In five starts, Garcia walked 17 batters and struck out just 10. He finished his short stint with a 1.75 ERA, but a 4.55 fielding-independent pitching. It wasn’t exactly the step forward we were hoping for from Garcia.
To make up for lost time, the team assigned Garcia to the Arizona Fall League. Through his first four starts there, he has given up nine runs in 14 innings. In that span, he has walked just four batters while striking out 13.
In one of his better starts in the AFL, Garcia’s fastball sat between 89-92 miles per hour, although it can reach upwards of 95 in shorter stints. All of his secondary pitches project to be about average, potentially making him a decent back-end starter. He will have to show sustained success in the upper levels of the minor-leagues before he fulfills that ceiling.