The New York Yankees and all MLB teams sit waiting while the negotiations between owners and players seem to be at a standstill. The reason there haven’t been breakthrough centers around health issues and money. The health issues have been addressed even though some players have said the risk is too high. The biggest stumbling block to getting a deal done is the owners’ plan for revenue sharing, which the MLPA has said is dead on arrival. At this point, neither side seems willing to blink.
If no deal can be reached, the baseball season will be canceled. If the negotiations go on and on without resolution, the season will be defacto canceled as time will run out to have a viable season. If the season is canceled, it could have a negative effect on many player’s careers, including players that will become free agents at the end of the season, whether there is one or not. However, the effect on many Yankee prospects may be even more costly. When you take a year away, that cannot be replaced, and several New York Yankee prospects want to advance to the Stadium this year.
Clarke Schmidt, pitcher
If there is one player chomping at the bit to play, it’s Clarke Schmidt. He is just itching to see the big time, and he believes he is fully ready. Yankee scouts saw something in Schmidt when the New York Yankees took him in the 2017 draft even though he needed Tommy John Surgery. But that gamble paid off last season when he had an ERA of 3.84 in twelve games at high A Tampa with 69 strikeouts. Once he was promoted to Trenton AA, he pitched even better, bringing that ERA down to 2.37 across 19 innings in three games.
In the abruptly shortened spring training this year, he impressed in four games. He pitched for seven innings with an ERA of 2.57 and eight strikeouts and whip of 1.714. The 24-year-old has in two seasons advanced from #62 prospect to #2. Schmidt has a mid-90s fastball, a deceptive changeup, and a slider that has been billed above-average. For a player advancing so quickly, a year off could be detrimental to his career.
Luis Medina, pitcher
Medina is another right-hand pitcher that the Yankees really like. Medina is blessed with phenomenal fastball velocity in the upper 90s, a great hook, but the righty has had problems with control. He pitched poorly in Advanced-A last season with far too many walks allowed. Nevertheless, he was promoted to the Charleston River Dogs, where things seemed to turn around, where he pitched to a .084 ERA. With him seemingly gaining control, no play could have an adverse effect. Medina at 21 has time to develop.
Deivi Garcia, pitcher
Deivi Garcia was once a number one prospect but has slipped down to number three in most listings. Garcia has had his struggles. In 2017 at Tampa high A, Garcia had impressive success pitching to an ERA of 1.27, but in 2018 he had an up and down year. 2019 was a bit better; between Tampa and Trenton, he was 4-6 ERA of 3.43. He earned a promotion to Scranton Wilkes/Barre, where his tired early in games and basically fell apart. In six games, he was 1-3 with an inflated 5.40 ERA. In spring training, he failed to impress. Whether time off helps or hurts Garcia is questionable.
Anthony Volpe, infielder
The New York Yankees have high hopes for Volpe. Volpe is an infielder, but shortstop is his desire and where he plays best. The Yankees can see Volpe with a future, staffing that position. During spring training, he didn’t get to show his stuff, playing in only one game. In 2019 he played in 34 games at Pulaski. He hit .215 with two homers but with an OPS of .704 with a .936 fielding percentage. Volpe is only 19 and is still developing. Missing a season is not going to aid in that development.
There are also other prospects like pitcher Luis Gil and Roansy Contreras that also would like to see some playing time this year. You might notice I have left Jasson Dominguez and Estevan Florial off the list. Jasson, although the top Yankee prospect at 17, is still a year or two away from the bigs although he continues to work out in the Dominican Republic. Florial has dropped off the Yankees top 10 prospect list, after having a sub-par season in the minors and when called up. With the minor league season canceled this year, lack off of play could be a significant issue with many of these players.