The New York Yankees find themselves in yet another welcoming position they’ve been in the last few years. Keith Law of The Athletic has the Yankees currently ranked as having the sixth-best farm system in all of baseball. Over the last few years, the Yankees have done what has been referred to as a rebuild on the fly. They took notice of their current state of not being world series contenders and traded away their older aging assets for younger players that could help give them a future while maintaining competitiveness. This strategy has set them up for years to come with young talent that can eventually take the place of their current stars. In some cases, these young stars will be called upon sooner than expected due to unforeseen circumstances such as an injury to the major league players. In this piece, I’ll go over the prospects who have a great opportunity to contribute this year.
Deivi Garcia: Depending on which ratings you use, Garcia can be the best pitcher in the Yankees’ minor leagues. He is equipped with a fastball that ranges from 91-97 mph with good movement, a newly developed slider, a wipeout curveball as his bread and butter strikeout pitch, and a changeup that offers a different look to hitters. Garcia raced through the minor league system last year making it all the way to Triple-A Scranton. At AAA. he finally found some level of competition that made him struggle. The New York Yankees will most likely keep him in Scranton for a good part of the season in order to give him more development time as he’s still only 20 years old. Once he can refine his command and prove that he can get out AAA hitters, he will finally get his chance to prove himself in the big leagues. With the state of the Yankees rotation currently, there’s an outside chance he gets called up sooner but I would expect him to make his debut either late summer or as a September callup.
Clarke Schmidt: The other best pitcher in the New York Yankees farm system. Clarke reached all the way to Double-A Trenton this past season and has an outside shot at getting some spot starts during the season if he continues to progress the way he has been. Out of all the pitchers in the Yankees top prospects, Schmidt probably has the highest floor. He may not have the best pure stuff, but he already possesses a command of all his pitches and is probably the surest thing to be a middle of the rotation major league pitcher. His fastball ranges from 92-97 mph with heavy sink and his breaking balls grade as above average as well. He also mixes in a changeup that drops away from bats as it reaches the plate. As previously mentioned, Schmidt is very close to being major league ready and could probably get some spot starts during the season similar to the way Jonathon Loaisiga did in 2018 making the jump from Double-A all the way to the bigs. At the very least he will most definitely be getting a September callup to audition for a full time
Nick Nelson: Nelson is kind of an under the radar choice for e contributor in 2020. He is rarely talked about in the top prospect lists but he is probably the closest out of any of the pitchers to playing a role with the Yankees this year seeing as he finished in Triple-A last year as well. He comes equipped with a fastball that sits 92-96 and tops out at 98 mph but his secondary pitches are what holds him back. None of his other pitches grade out as anything but average. The key with Nelson is although he has found success at each stop of the minor leagues, his future may be in the bullpen. His arsenal of pitches may actually be more suited for the bullpen. His fastball would just need one or two pitches to complement it allowing him to focus more on just those ones. If the Yankees end up needing another arm in the bullpen throughout long stretches of games during the season, Nelson could very well be that guy. I believe the bullpen is going to be where he finds his home. But for now, they will continue to develop him into a starter.
These three top prospects for the Yankees have the most to offer them now and in the future. They will be waiting for the call to showcase their stuff and look to begin their hopefully long careers in pinstripes.