Anderson Garcia Claimed By Orioles

Anderson Garcia has had an up and down season, but brings lots of potential with him to the Orioles. The 25-year-old hurler will report to AA Bowie after failing to stick on the Mets' 40-man roster.

Background

Anderson Garcia has been shuffled around quite a bit in his young career. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001 by the Yankees. He came to the Mets as the key prospect in the Armando Benitez trade of July 2003. Although originally a starter, the Mets have primarily used him in relief.

Garcia spent 2004 in LoA Capital City, amassing 75 strikeouts and 47 base on balls in 84 innings for a 4.71 ERA. Starting in HiA St. Lucie in 2005, he got off to a hot start and was quickly bumped up to AA Binghamton. Once there, Garcia struck out 41 batters over 50.7 innings, but also gave up 20 free passes and 8 home runs for a middling 4.97 ERA. The Mets saw enough promise, however, to add Garcia to their 40-man roster and protect him from the Rule V draft and NyFansOnly ranked Garcia as the Mets' 47th best prospect.

Garcia remained in AA to start 2006 and once again was able to make adjustments. In fact, another hot start prompted Binghamton catcher Andy Wilson to tell NYFansOnly's Robert Bonaparte, "He's got some of the nastiest stuff I've ever seen". By the end of April, he was promoted to AAA Norfolk and just three weeks later Garcia was wearing a Mets uniform. Unfortunately, things haven't gone as smoothly since. Garcia never pitched in the show and was optioned back to Norfolk two days later. He's compiled a 6.32 ERA in 31.3 innings with an 18:14 strikeout to walk ratio. On August 6th, Garcia was demoted back to Binghamton and promptly surrendered 3 walks in just two innings. The Mets' patience finally wore thin and they designated Garcia for assignment to make room for Ricky Ledee.

Arsenal

Garcia's track record may be spotty, but his stuff gives him a very high ceiling. His fastball operates between 90-97 MPH and was consistently around 94 MPH in spring training. His command of the pitch is spotty, but his walks tend to come in bunches, rather than as the result of consistent trouble finding the strike zone. His slider is his only other reliable pitch, since Garcia has had problems developing an offspeed pitch. His changeup often sits around 86 MPH and doesn't offer enough of a change of pace to effectively complement the rest of his power arsenal.

Projection

Like many young hurlers, Garcia has provided glimpses of his potential but has lacked anything resembling consistency. If things come together for Garcia over the next few weeks, he will get a chance to stick in the O's bullpen when the rosters expand in September. If Garcia continues to struggle with his command, he'll likely be one of the first players on the 40-man roster designated for assignment in the off-season. Either way, this move comes with little risk and could potentially result in a much needed boon to the bullpen.

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