Philadelphia Phillies 2018 top prospects: Five pitchers to note

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: A view of the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies bullpens in centerfield as fans watch from above during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins won 9-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: A view of the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies bullpens in centerfield as fans watch from above during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins won 9-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Right-handed pitcher Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia split 2017 between the rotation and the bullpen for High-A Clearwater, but ultimately his future lies in the bullpen. It wasn’t a great season statistically for Garcia as he walked more batters than he had for most of his career, leading to a 4.47 ERA. Opposing hitters had a .331 batting average on balls in play, so Garcia suffered from that to an extent. He still had a 22.7 percent strikeout rate working on the rotation, so it wasn’t all bad for Garcia.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Garcia has all the makings for a strong reliever with a plus, mid-90s fastball and above-average slider that Baseball America calls the best in the system. His command is okay but not great, and he also throws a changeup when he starts. Both of those have to improve considerably for Garcia to be a starter, but his mechanics and fastball-slider combo are much more inclined for the bullpen.

Despite pitching almost entirely out of the bullpen for most his minor-league career, Garcia has moved through the system at a rather steady pace.

He should be in Double-A Reading next year with the chance to make it to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. If he pitches more from the bullpen he should move up rather quickly, but if he has to go back to the rotation his progress up the minor-league ladder may be stalled.

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