New York Yankees: New Top Pitching Prospect

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 16: 2017 1st round pick of the New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt (32) of the Tarpons delivers a pitch to the plate during the Florida State League game between the Bradenton Marauders and the Tampa Tarpons on April 16, 2019, at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A few weeks ago, I came under a little fire from New York Yankees fans when I wrote an article about Deivi Garcia being a little overrated. The New York Yankees hype machine has made some folks believe that the impressive 20-year-old is on his way to being the next Pedro Martinez. However, using the eye test and talking to a few scouts, I just didn’t see it from him. I personally think his future is in the bullpen, but that is another topic for a different day. One of the scouts that I spoke with told me that he really liked Clarke Schmidt a lot more than he liked Garcia. Schmidt was the Yankees first-round pick back in 2017, and the Yankees were fortunate to grab him with the sixteenth pick. Many around the industry felt that Schmidt had top ten pick stuff, but due to his Tommy John surgery, he fell down to the Yankees. The pick was seen as risky by some, but the Yankees took a chance on Schmidt, and it’s looking like that chance might just pay off.

Schmidt’s Impressive 2019

Clarke Schmidt jumped in the recent prospect rankings after a very impressive 2019 season in the minors. Rising all the way to AA, Schmidt posted a 6-5 record with a 3.47 ERA and striking out 102 batters in 90.2 innings across all levels in 2019. Schmidt was extremely impressive in his three starts at AA going 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 19 batters in 19 innings. Schmidt jumped all the way into the top 100 baseball prospects for coming in at 88th overall. Deivi Garcia dropped in these rankings to 92nd overall making Schmidt the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Yankees farm system according to However, it wasn’t just the MLB pipeline that ranked Schmidt ahead of Garcia. Baseball America also released its top prospects for the Yankees, and they also ranked Schmidt ahead of Garcia. Schmidt flashes a mid-90s fastball, and projects to have two above-average off-speed pitches in his changeup and slider. Garcia has electric stuff but mainly features a two-pitch mix and is tiny in stature while Schmidt stands 6’1 coming in at 200 lbs.

Down the line

Despite it sounding like it, I’m really not trying to downplay Deivi Garcia. Yes, I understand he’s 20, but I just don’t see top of the rotation talent with him. I do see him developing into a very dominant reliever where he can focus on accenting his fastball with his high level curve. Schmidt on the other hand, could very well join fellow South Carolina Gamecock Jordan Montgomery in the Yankees rotation down the line. Schmidt has the stuff, the stature, and all the makeups to be a solid middle of the rotation kind of arm that can slide right in behind Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino. If neither are used as trade chips, I really do think Schmidt and Garcia will be impactful Yankees for years to come. However, in my opinion only one of them will be impacting the Yankees from a spot in the starting rotation and that one is the Yankees new top pitching prospect, Clarke Schmidt.

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