2013 Stats: Three Games, 1.1 IP, 1 Hit, 1 HR, 4 BB, 1 K, 13.50 ERA
The Dodgers loved Onelki Garcia in 2011. They planned on selecting the Cuban defector with their first round pick. Unfortunately, shortly before the draft, MLB ruled him ineligible, dictating that he’d need to wait a year before entering the festivities in 2012.
Garcia stayed in shape by playing in the Southern California adult league before being drafted in the 3rd round by the Dodgers in 2012. He pitched in just one game in his debut, striking out four in a pair of innings.
By 2013, Onelki was finally getting into the swing of things in Double A, starting six games while appearing in 25. The results, along with his stuff, were up and down. He struck out 53 batters in 52.1 innings and posted a 2.75 ERA, but walked 32 batters, 5.5 per 9 innings. The club liked his performance enough to promote him to Triple A, where he worked exclusively out of the pen and struck out 14 in 9.2 innings. Chris Jackson of the Albuquerque Examiner says his velocity was down with the ‘Topes, though he had success due to the movement on his fastball and his ability to keep the ball down in the zone.
In September, Garcia got the call to join the big club. When he came up, he showed improved velocity, averaging 93.5mph with his fastball. However, he struggled throw strikes, walking four of the nine batters he faced. To add injury to insult, Onelki hurt his elbow during the offseason and has missed time during spring training.
2014 Outlook: With the re-signing of J.P. Howell, as well as the additions of Chris Perez and Jamey Wright, the Dodgers’ bullpen is overflowing. The club still hasn’t decided whether to develop Garcia as a starter or reliever, so he’ll likely see time in both capacities in the minors. If the major league team needs a lefty, he’s their man.
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