Signing Bonus: $3.2 million
Ben Badler of Baseball America (subscription required) ranked Dermis Garcia as the No. 9 prospect for this year’s international signing period, stating that the right-handed slugger has “70 raw power that rates as the best in the class.”
Garcia’s power also impressed Scouting Baseball's Kiley McDaniel (subscription required) during a scouting excursion to the Dominican Republic back in January:
Garcia is stronger now but also matured, growing into his 6’2/190 frame and leveraging those newfound abilities in a more efficient swing. Garcia launched a number of homers to his pull side yesterday, flashing plus raw power that was also the best I’ve seen this week.
Yet, while it’s easy to project Garcia as a middle-of-the-order hitter when all is said and done with his development, evaluators have expressed doubt over the 16-year-old’s ability to remain at shortstop long term.
Garcia “won’t play shortstop,” according to Badler, but he “has a chance to play third base, depending on how big he gets.”
McDaniel, on the other hand, isn’t comfortable writing him off at shortstop just yet:
Garcia has enough defensive ability that you can’t rule out him sticking at shortstop. There have been examples, like Xander Bogaerts and Reid Brignac among recent AL East examples, of bigger athletes that look ticketed for third base in A-Ball that eventually worked their way into becoming big league shortstops with work. If I had to guess, I’d say Garcia ends up at third base and that seems to be the assumption with scouts, but the bat easily profiles if that happens.
In general, Garcia’s defensive tools and skill sets seemingly are a cleaner fit at third base than at shortstop.
Though he possesses average speed at the present, Badler believes Garcia “will slow down as he gets bigger,” even suggesting that his size could push him to right field. However, he makes sure to mention Garcia’s plus arm and notes that “his hands should work at third base.”
Basically, the Yankees signed Garcia for his huge power potential, which they presumably believe will outweigh any defensive limitations that arise as he ages. If the slugger comes close to reaching his ceiling as a middle-of-the-order hitter, then it’s reasonable to think he could serve as one the American League’s more productive shortstops/third basemen in his prime. That being said, the 16-year-old obviously has a huge gap between the present ability and future potential.