Jarlin “The Marlin” Garcia didn’t allow a hit through his first 10 innings as a starter, but couldn’t keep up that pace.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 235 of 286.
Jarlin Emmanuel Garcia is a 6’3″, 215 lb. left-handed hitting and throwing pitcher from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Born on January 18th, 1993, the Miami Marlins signed him through free agency out of Liceo Vespertino General Gregorio Luperon HS on May 27th, 2011.
After coming to terms for a $40,000 bonus, Garcia was soon afterward assigned to the DSL Marlins, in the rookie-level Domincan Summer League. He led the team with 14 appearances, eight starts, five wins, five losses, and a 1.13 WHIP over a team-second 52 innings pitched. Garcia also collected a save, with 46 strikeouts against only 12 walks through the season. He is thus far the only member of the 24-43 squad to graduate to the major leagues.
2012 would see Garcia laterally promoted to the rookie-level Florida-based GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League. Over a team-third 40 innings pitched, he was 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA, starting in four of his 12 appearances overall. Garcia struck out 32 and walked 14, putting up a slightly better-than-average 1.30 WHIP (the 29-30 team had a 1.34 mark overall).
Garcia continued his steady march up the Miami Marlins food chain in 2013, joining the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. He led the rotation with 15 starts, and ranked second on the club with 69 2/3 innings pitched and with 74 K’s for the 39-36 team. Garcia only walked 18 for a K/BB of over four, with a 1.10 WHIP that ranked third on the team out of pitchers who worked over 40 innings. Unlike two years prior, that season’s version of the Muckdogs contained eight other future major leaguers, including current frontrunner for left field Austin Dean.
Pitching for the 2014 Greensboro Grasshoppers, in the single-A South Atlantic League, Garcia led the rotation with 25 starts while topping the club with 10 wins and 133 2/3 innings pitched. He was second on the team with 111 whiffs while issuing only 21 walks. Unfortunately, Garcia’s career worst 10.23 H/9 resulted in a nick below-average WHIP of 1.30 (funny how little things change from year-to-year). The team went 87-53, winning the SAL’s Northern Division.
In 2015, Garcia started the season ranked as the number 10 prospect in the Miami Marlins system with the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, and was 3-5 with a 3.06 ERA over 18 starts. He collected 69 strikeouts in 97 innings, with a 1.23 WHIP to his credit. On July 18th of that year, Garcia pitched a complete game seven-inning shutout victory against the Daytona Tortugas. Garcia surrendered three singles and a walk, while striking out six. On July 27th, he earned his first mid-season promotion, to the double-A Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League. Over seven starts with the Suns, Garcia went 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA, with 35 K’s recorded in 36 2/3 innings.
Aside from a four-day stint on the disabled list in 2015, Garcia had successfully steered clear of injury problems. 2016 was a different story. Garcia missed two months on the DL, and split his remaining time between the GCL Marlins, the Suns, and the Hammerheads. Ranking as Miami’s number three prospect in both Baseball American and the MLB Pipeline, Garcia struck out 38 over 50 2/3 innings combined between the levels, going 1-3 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. MLB Pipeline had this to say about him at the time:
"Garcia throws strikes with all four pitches, but he still has more control than command at this stage of his career. Scouts view him as a future No. 4 starter, and they expect him to miss more bats with improved fastball command and more consistent secondary offerings."
2017 would see Garcia begin the season with the newly-renamed Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. After four scoreless innings, he was called up for his major league debut with the Miami Marlins. Although Garcia had been groomed as a swing-starter, the Marlins used him exclusively as a reliever. He led the team and ranked 18th in the majors with 68 appearances, with 42 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings. Garcia furnished a team-best 1.200 WHIP and a 4.73 ERA, surrendering only 17 walks for a team-leading 2.9 BB/9. Garcia’s 4.23 FIP ranked third on the team, while his 84 ERA+ ranked sixth-of-11 on the team, smack in the middle.
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Garcia started his 2018 in solid fashion, pitching six one-hit innings in Miami’s March 30th, 2-1, 17-inning win against the Chicago Cubs. On April 11th, in his first start of the season, Garcia pitched six no-hit innings, allowing two walks while striking out three in an eventual 4-1 loss to the New York Mets (see above). In Garcia’s next start, six days later, he allowed only one hit over five innings, earning his first win as a starter, 9-1 over the New York Yankees.
After his sparkling April came to an end, Garcia had a much harder time of things over the next few months. He surrendered 14 home runs in his next 16 appearances, for an 8.47 ERA and a .327/.372/.655 opposing slashline. He also pitched 48 2/3 innings for the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
Garcia is always a decent candidate in the bullpen for the Miami Marlins’ “emergency starter” roster spot. Aside from his noteworthy start to the 2018 season, he turned in a largely forgettable performance, ending the year ranked 11th-of-13 on the Marlins with a 74 ERA+. Aside from that, his 11.0 percent of batted balls were barreled, placing Garcia in the bottom one percent of the National League in the metric, as did his 14.4 K percent. A multitude of options may have made Garcia expendable going into 2019, but his performance in Spring Training should go a long way toward determining where he starts his season.
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