Bryan Garcia's first full season proved to be a speedy climb through the Minor Leagues. He has to hit the brakes before his second.
The Tigers announced that their 23rd-ranked prospect will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday following a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm.
Offseason MiLB include
Garcia experienced discomfort in his right elbow last fall but had no problems during the instructional league. According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, the pain returned in January, leading to a visit last week with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 Draft out of the University of Miami, Garcia got off to a strong professional start. The right-hander allowed two earned runs over 18 innings in his first 16 appearances with Class A Short Season Connecticut, finishing the year with Class A West Michigan.
In 2017, Garcia returned to the Whitecaps before making stops at Class A Advanced Lakeland, Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. The 22-year-old went 5-3 with a 2.13 ERA, 78 strikeouts and 22 walks over 55 innings in 52 games and converted 17 of 20 save opportunities across the four levels.
Before the tear was diagnosed, Tigers director of player development Dave Owen said that Garcia was slated to start the season at Triple-A with "a chance" to pitch in the Majors in 2018.