Originally signed by the New York Yankees in 2001, Garcia shifted across town in the Armando Benitez trade of 2003. The Mets liked Garcia a lot and decided to protect him on their 40-man roster. When room needed to be cleared for the addition of Ricky Ledee down the stretch in 2006, however, Garcia had to be designated for assignment. Once exposed to waivers, the Orioles pounced on the chance to claim Garcia and added him to their own 40-man roster.
DOB: 03/23/81 Height: 6-2 Weight: 170 B/T: R/R
Anderson Garcia‘s age 25 season::
Garcia has yet to put it all together, but he sure is fun to watch. His fastball sits around 94 MPH but can fall between 90-97 MPH at times. He is able to generate groundballs because the pitch has good movement, though he is not always effective at keeping it low in the zone. His second pitch is a solid slider that has gained more consistent depth, even if he may not command it consistently. Garcia does throw a changeup, but he has trouble getting it below the mid-80's while still throwing it in a manner consistent with his other pitches. In fact, at least a few of the homeruns on his stat line are due to his continued efforts to work on his changeup, with minimal results. He doesn't necessarily need the changeup to be successful, but a lack of one may put more pressure on Garcia to harness the command of his other two pitches.
Garcia is actually equally effective against righties and lefties. Opponents have never hit for much of an average or for much power against him, but Garcia's spotty command results in lots of free passes. His total 2006 GO/AO ratio of 1.29 is above-average and he generates plenty of weak infield pop-ups as well.
The Orioles have a full 40-man roster, so any more additions to the roster will result in someone being removed. If Garcia survives what promises to be a busy off-season, he'll stand a very outside shot at a bullpen role with the Orioles. Otherwise, he'll head back to a team he became familiar with as a Mets farmhand, the Norfolk Tides. Ultimately, Garcia has the potential to be a high-leverage reliever that need not be protected from left-handers. Garcia's walks tend to come in bunches and gaining consistency will be the major hurdle in reaching his ceiling. And as evidenced by his underwhelming strikeout rate, in spite of his first-class stuff, Garcia has work to do on his command within the strike zone as well.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com