PULASKI, Virginia - After a lackluster debut season in the Minor Leagues, Pulaski third baseman Dermis Garcia is starting to make his impact. The Dominican Republic native was signed as part of the Yankees 2014-2015 international signing spree for $3.2 million. Garcia was just 16 years old at the time of his signing and spent the first season of his professional career with the GCL Yankees West in the Gulf Coast League. In his 2015 campaign, Garcia batted just .159 with no home runs and six RBIs.
"Last year was tough because I was injured, so this offseason I really worked hard on preparing my body and getting prepared for this season," Garcia said through a translator when asked about his work since last season.
His preparations for this year have certainly paid off. Garcia is currently batting .242 with 17 RBIs and a league leading 10 home runs. In a recent three-game series against the Johnson City Cardinals Garcia hit a home run in each game, helping the Yankees win two games in the series. Garcia said he focused on playing hard for his team during the series.
His hot streak did not end with Johnson City, though. Garcia hit a home run in his fourth straight game against the Danville Braves on July 19th.
Garcia has not been as hot on the defensive side of the ball this season. Although he is listed as a shortstop on the Yankees roster, Garcia has spent most of his time at third base due to another Yankees prospect from the 2014 signing period, Wilkerman Garcia, taking the starting shortstop role in Pulaski. The transition to third base has been tough for Garcia, who currently posts a .864 fielding percentage and 11 errors in the 2016 season. Aiding his transition to third base is Garcia's mentality, the aspect of his game he says he has improved upon the most. He has worked on preparing himself to play, whether he is at third or shortstop.
As the Appalachian League season nears the halfway point, Dermis Garcia has been one of the most exciting players to watch in Pulaski this season, and he plans on keeping it that way.
"[I expect] to keep playing hard for my team, to keep working."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.