Monday, April 26, 2010

Someone to Watch For: Jaime Garcia

I was having a little fun on FanGraphs this morning and took a gander at pitchers with the highest GB% (ground-ball percentage). At the very top of the list, with quite a bit of separation, is young Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia. Don't be surprised if that's a foreign name because Garcia broke into the Majors in late-2008 at age 21, only to have Tommy John surgery after only 10 appearances. He missed all of 2009 and now, a year and a half later, has joined the Cardinals rotation and has been pitching well so far this season.

A 70% ground-ball percentage is unsustainable, but what it also worth nothing is that in 19 innings, Garcia has not given up a HR. Garcia's HR/9 ratio in the minors was 0.6, which if translated into the majors would be good for a top-10 slot in that category (Lincecum is #1 at .49). I'm not saying that Garcia projects to be a lights out pitcher like fellow battery-mates Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, but he certainly looks like a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy. In 69 MiL starts, he compiled a 3.49ERA/1.25WHIP with 369Ks in 402IP. His 3.00 BB/9 isn't such a hot stat, but you have to love his GB/FB ratio, good for getting double-plays when you do have men on base.

In the course of my research on Garcia, I came across this little dandy of an article examining Garcia's mechanics, I definitely think it's worth checking out and I would also love to know if he's changed that delivery at all post Tommy John surgery. Anyway, here's the video linked in the article.

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