SARASOTA, Fla. – Jason Garcia was thrown a curveball when in the course of a minute he went from one baseball club to another, and then to another.
After being selected by the Houston Astros in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft from the Boston Red Sox organization, the 22-year-old was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s had worked out a pre-draft trade with Houston concerned that he would not be available their selection came along.
“I got a phone call saying that [the Astros] had picked me up and a minute later I received another call saying I had been traded to the Orioles,” said Garcia.
The right-handed pitcher of the Orioles who is currently in Sarasota for spring training was more than delighted to hear he would be so close to his parent’s home in Tampa-St. Petersburg for the pre-season.
“I am really happy I get to see my family about three or four times per week now, it is only a 45 minute drive,” said Garcia.
The Floridian born to Puerto Rican parents was drafted in the 17th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft from Land O’Lakes High School by the Boston Red Sox organization, where he played for four years.
“The four years I spent with the Boston Red Sox were really big on the experience,” Garcia said. “I was drafted at a young age, going straight from high school to a pro ball was a big adjustment.
“The coach who had the most influence on my game and who I worked with and connected the most was Paul Abbott.”
Garcia is aware that he has to work even harder than he did with Boston in order to remain on the Orioles 40-man roster. It was not until he was in the fall instructional league to get more innings that his pitching improved considerably, impressing the Orioles’ scouts.
“I like it a lot here, everyone is really welcoming and they are here for one purpose which is to play the last game of the season,” said Garcia. “Everyone helps everyone. It is a really good atmosphere here.
“I haven’t really had that, when even the older guys and the veterans will go out of their way to help us young guys and rookies and that is definitely a very good feeling.”
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