Garrison Following The Plan

Lefties are batting just .103 against Garrison

As the Yankees 7th round pick in this year's draft and the Staten Island Yankees late relief closer, this right-hand pitcher, Taylor Garrison, has not failed to produce quality strikeout fastballs from the mound.

Starting off his professional career with the Staten Island Yankees, Garrison was assigned the role of a late relief pitcher since his debut.

He finished his college career at Fresno State in California as a late relief guy, with 52 strikeouts in 42.1 innings pitched, and Staten Island Yankees coaching staff thought he would be the best prospect for the job in New York.

"He was a closer in college, so he was throwing strikes and getting people out, we thought he was the best candidate for it," Staten Island Yankees pitching coach Carlos Chantres said.

Justin Pope, Staten Island Yankees Manager, acknowledges the importance of striking hitters out, especially in those last couple of innings, and says that in that respect, Garrison is on top of his game.

"That's the key, throwing strikes; especially in the 9th inning," Pope explained. "The last three outs of the game are the hardest three outs to get.

"He's been doing good, real good. We feel confident every time we give him the ball and he goes out there. We know what we are going to get out of him. He's a competitor and going to give his best, and that is all we can ask for."

So far in the 18 games he's pitched with the Staten Island Yankees, Garrison has struck out 18 hitters in 19.1 innings, earning an ERA of 3.26. Although his fastball is his best pitch, his performance on the mound is credited to a variety of quality pitches.

"He's got a fastball, curveball, slider, [and] change. I think his fastball is probably his best pitch right now. And then the next pitch would be his slider," Chantres said. "We have been starting to work on some delivery stuff with him. And he has been starting to look a lot better."

Garrison claims that his focus is on maintaining a solid command over all of his pitches, although his fastball command is the most important while on the mound.

"Fastball command is the biggest thing out here," Garrison stated. "So I have to have good fastball command to have success out here, but also, the command of my secondary pitches, you know, sliders, curveballs, change-ups, [they] have also helped me out here."

Coming out of college, Garrison claims that the toughest thing about playing pro ball is the expectation of pitchers to know their hitters swings, and what pitches to hit them with.

"Coming from a college level of play, it's definitely all the outside stuff, as far as pitch counting and reading hitters' swings," Garrison said of what he'd like to improve.

"In college everything is called for you; all the pitches are called for you; you don't have to do anything but focus on making the pitch. But here you have to do it all."

Chantres believes that Garrison is making the adjustment just fine, and perhaps is doing a better job of it than he gives himself credit.

"There's always going to be an adjustment and these guys are always going to be learning no matter where they are at," Chantres said. "But he has done a good job. He's going after these hitters and we have meetings to talk about these hitters every day.

"He is following the plan," he assured.

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