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Deivi García has shown he can rise to the occasion for the Yankees

Deivi García has been at his best when facing his biggest moments.

New York Yankees v New York Mets - Game Two Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Yankees were in need of a boost to the starting rotation and Deivi García stepped up, stifling the New York Mets over six innings in his MLB debut on Sunday afternoon. García, who just turned 21-years-old in May, has shown the ability to rise to the occasion when challenged by the Yankees with aggressive promotions and big games.

In 2018, García’s season began in early June with the Low-A Charleston Riverdogs. Held back to control his innings, he hit the ground running and proved that he was ready for bigger challenges. After excelling through eight starts García earned a promotion to High-A Tampa.

García only got better after moving to the higher level. Five starts later with a 1.27 ERA at the High-A level, García earned another promotion to Double-A Trenton to start the final game of the season. Still just 19-years-old, García was not overmatched as a result of the rapid promotions. Surrounded by older players, he showed why he was quickly becoming one of the Yankees’ top prospects.

García retired the first nine Reading Phillies he faced that night. After a moment of wildness saw García walk the first two batters of the fourth inning, he rebounded to retire the last six batters he faced.

His final line was five innings pitched no hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. He had stepped up two levels from where he started the season in early June, and raised his game to shine against tougher competition.

The strong cameo performance was not enough to earn García a return trip to Double-A Trenton at the start of the next season. Starting with High-A Tampa he quickly proved that he was worthy of a promotion by recording 16.8 K/9 through four starts. When he arrived Trenton was right in the middle of the playoff race that would eventually see them claim the Eastern League Championship.

With the Eastern League utilitiizing a split season format, Trenton entered their game on June 18, 2019 needing a win to claim the first half championship and a playoff spot. García was scheduled to start and left little doubt to the outcome of the game. García struck out the first eight batters he faced on his way to a 15 strikeout game. He allowed just one hit and one walk in six innings of work as he propelled Trenton to a first half championship.

On Sunday García made his major league debut, and looked as calm and confident as he has through many of his minor league stops. Reflecting on the moment, García said, “I definitely understood the task in front of me, and I wanted to do the best I could to help my teammates.”

Helping his teammates resulted in six innings of four hit baseball, where only one unearned run scored. García struck out six in his debut, as he retired the first nine Mets that he faced. All along García carried himself with the composure of a seasoned major leaguer.

There will be tough days for García, as there are for every major league pitcher. The minor leagues can only prepare a player to a certain point for the pressure situations that he will feel at the major league level. When García has faced the big situations, however, he has passed with flying colors and delivered the best performances of his professional career.