In June the Cincinnati Reds used their 19th round pick to select right-handed pitcher Tyler Garbee. He began his college career at Pittsburgh where he threw 33.0 innings over his freshman and sophomore seasons. Change was coming for Garbee, though, and he transferred to Mercyhurst for his junior season in 2018. He pitched very well there, too – posting a 2.52 ERA in 71.0 innings with 73 strikeouts and 32 walks. He went undrafted as a junior and returned for his senior season. While his ERA went up to 3.08, he pitched much better it would seem. He allowed 18 fewer hits and struck out 36 more batters while throwing two more innings.

To say that Tyler Garbee has carried that senior season forward into a professional career would be an understatement. While he was used as a starting pitcher at Mercyhurst, the Reds put Garbee into the bullpen for his first assignment with the Greeneville Reds. And that’s where he stayed for the first month of the season. He didn’t allow a single run in 17.0 innings and he allowed just 8 hits. Garbee only walked 3 batters, and he struck out 17 of the 59 hitters he faced.

On July 19th he allowed the first two runs of his season. He had been moved into the rotation and faced off against Elizabethton. In his first start since being drafted he threw 5.0 innings and allowed 4 hits – including the first home run of the season. But he also struck out a season high 8 batters and didn’t walk anyone. Last Thursday he took the mound against as a starter. This time Tyler Garbee threw 5.0 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 walks. And he racked up 9 strikeouts along the way.

The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher has now thrown 27.0 innings for the Greeneville Reds. He’s holding opposing hitters to a .161/.196/.247 line through 97 plate appearances. He’s allowed just  6 extra-base hits, no stolen bases (though where are the runners even coming from?), walked just 4 batters, and he’s struck out 34 of them.

Tyler Garbee’s got a starters background. And he’s got a starters repertoire. He’s got a good moving fastball, a change up, and a breaking ball. The results have been incredible thus far. Garbee has been an absolute steal in the draft, signed in the 19th round for $10,000, and he’s absolutely dominated the Appalachian League. What the future plans are with him as far as starter/reliever go, we’ll have to wait and see. But in both cases, the early results have been phenomenal.

13 Responses

  1. Oldtimer

    Two extreme examples but Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan were drafted in 9th or 10th round of MLB draft in mid 1960s.

    Some pitchers develop late. Maybe Garbee in one of those.

    • William Roush

      I think Seaver was a special first round pick. I don’t remember why but I do remember that the Braves and the Mets flipped a coin as to who got to pick him. Obviously the Mets won.

      • Oldtimer

        June 8, 1965: Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 10th round of the 1965 amateur draft, but did not sign.

        January 29, 1966: Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1966, but pick was voided.

        April 3, 1966: Signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent.

  2. Mike

    Have you heard anything about the velocity on his pitches

    • Redsvol

      check out Zack Greinke’s fastball velocity. Velocity doesn’t indicate as much as we would like to think. Its more about movement and multiple pitches that can be thrown for a strike.

      We need more pitchers who can pitch and not just throw straight heat. I hope we have found one in Garbee.

      • RedsKoolAidDrinker

        It is a factor though, so it’s a fair question.

      • Doug Gray

        Velocity highly correlates to success at the Major League level. It’s not everything, and there are outliers, but yeah, there’s a big correlation between velocity and success on the mound.

      • Oldtimer

        Agree in principle. Greg Maddux was the exception. Tom Browning another but not at Maddux level.

  3. Bdh

    Doug I just read an article about the 7ft Dutch pitcher who recently passed away. The article said he was in the Reds system in 2013. Do you have any memory of his time in the system?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes, I do. I saw him in Pensacola that season (he also pitched in Triple-A with Louisville). The night I saw him he was sitting 97-99 with a good slider. Had one scout very excited on the night.

  4. Tom

    The appropriate thing to do after a 10 run inning vs the Bucs is to plunk the first batter.

  5. Martino

    Just ask Aroldis Chapman about velocity and success in MLB.. 105 mph will likely always beat a nice 75 mph curveball.. Not always, but I’d take my chances with the 105 mph heaters any day..