New York Yankees: The Future Looks Bright For These Three Youngsters

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The New York Yankees just released their summer camp rosters so let’s look and see who on the list we might see in Pinstripes one day. Three players come to mind.  All of them are pitchers. 

Let’s begin with the 20-year pitching machine Deivi Garcia (currently ranked 92nd on MLB’s top 100). Garcia has everyone talking about him and is closer than ever to getting his shot in the big leagues. He has a nasty arsenal of pitches with a screaming fastball and a knee-buckling curve ball. He has climbed up the minor league ladder quickly in the last 3 years and was the youngster most consistently in the spotlight this past Spring. Let’s look at the numbers. 

He started getting attention in 2018 when he put up an astonishing 1.27 ERA in 5 starts with the Tampa Tarpons. In mid-2018 he optioned to the Charleston River Dogs where he struggled in his first few starts but finished strong enough to be called up to the Trenton Thunder late that season. He had just one outing, but pitched a very productive 5 shutout innings.   

Garcia again received an invite to extended Spring Training with the Tampa Tarpons in 2019 where he finished with a 3.06 ERA over 17.2 innings. He was again called up to the Trenton Thunder and held his own finishing with a 3.86 ERA in 11 starts. 

Garcia made his Triple-A debut with the Rail Riders bullpen in late 2019. While he struggled in his first two starts there, he improved over time and ended with a 5.40 ERA.

He got his first invite to Spring Training in 2020. He finished with a 7.36 ERA after 7 innings pitched in a season cut short by COVID-19.  That was not the performance Garcia wanted, but the spotlight hasn’t shifted and the Yankees know he gets better with time. Despite his Spring Training performance, the higher-ups are expecting Garcia to positively impact the Yankees very soon.  At just 20-years old, he has plenty of time to do just that.  Look to see Deivi Garcia’s name in the big leagues at some point in the future. 

The next pitching stud that is opening eyes in the organization is 23-year old pitching phenom Clarke Schmidt (currently ranked 88th on MLB’s top 100). Schmidt is another player that’s climbed the Yankees ladder quickly after being drafted by the Yanks in 2018. Schmidt’s nasty breaking ball makes players whiff. 

The first rounder has surprised everyone in the organization with his quick development.  In 2018 he pitched in the Gulf Coast League and also played for the Staten Island Yankees. He finished the year with a 3.09 ERA in 23 innings.  With shockingly good numbers in 2018, he was invited to Tampa for extended Spring Training. He had great numbers with the Tarpons, finishing with a 3.84 ERA in 12 starts. He returned to the Gulf Coast League where he started three games finishing with a 3.24 ERA. From there, he was pulled up to Double-A to play with the Trenton Thunder. His time with the Thunder was short due to the late call-up, but he started 3 games and finished with a phenomenal 2.37 ERA leading to an invite to join the Yankees in Tampa for his first Spring Training. He was a member of the bullpen for the beginning of Spring Training and handled that adjustment with ease, finishing with a 2.57 ERA in 7 innings.

Schmidt looked great in Tampa and used his breaking ball effectively. Clarke Schmidt is definitely one of the names to watch in the future. 

The final stud on the list is 22-year old, right-handed pitcher, Miguel Yajure. There are higher ranked pitchers in the organization but I see something special with Miguel’s ability to dominate deep in counts and get players to swing and miss. Miguel has some nasty pitches in his arsenal.  During our recent interview, he told me he is most confident throwing his change-up. He is creeping up in the rankings and gaining recognition but still doesn’t get talked about enough. 

He has been with the Yankees since he was 17-years old and has improved every year. In 2018, started 14 games with the Charleston River Dogs and finished with a 3.90 ERA. He played the majority of his 2019 season with the Tampa Tarpons and pitched in 22 games (started in 18) and finished with an incredible 2.26 ERA in 127 innings of work. Heads were turning quickly and he was called up to Double-A to play with the Trenton Thunder. While he only started in 2 games he dominated both, finishing with a 0.86 ERA over 11 innings. Based on his performance in 2019, he was invited to join the Yankees down in Tampa for Spring Training where he pitched in 2 games, giving up 3 runs over 2.1 innings pitched. 

Yajure’s resume speaks for itself and he is really due to make some noise soon.  

All three pitchers are extremely talented and trending up in the rankings.  Don’t be surprised to see one or more in the Bronx soon. Their future truly looks bright!

New York Yankees Prospects: Miguel Yajure

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Another top pitching prospect that New York Yankees fans should be paying attention to is young Miguel Yajure. Yajure possesses one of the deepest pitching repertoires in the entire farm system and has pitched his way up to being the New York Yankee’s fourteenth ranked prospect. Yajure missed the 2017 season after getting Tommy John surgery, but Yajure has bounced back and then some since the surgery. Yajure features four pitches that are all at or above average. Yajure is the type of pitcher that is going to go right after hitters, but he’s not going to be able to overpower hitters with his fastball. Yajure has a fastball that sits in the 93-95 range, but he complements that pitch with his secondary offerings. He likes to throw his changeup a lot and has a decent 12-6 curveball which can keep hitters honest. The biggest weapon, in my opinion, is a pitch that he just started throwing in the last year and that was his cutter. Entering the 2019 season, Yajure didn’t feature the cutter, but that pitch proved to be one of the keys to a very successful 2019 campaign.

Impressive 2019

2018 was a really good year for Yajure coming off TJ surgery. Yajure was able to go 4-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 14 starts. All of his numbers took a significant jump in 2019. Showing off polished mechanics and a really good feel for all of his pitches, Yajure dominated the minors in 2019. In 24 games against Advanced A and Double-A competition, Yajure went 9-6 with a 2.14 ERA. Yajure was able to strike out just under nine batters per nine innings and had a very good WHIP of 1.07. Yajure has a really good command and goes right after hitters. He is not going to walk a ton of batters, and he’s able to produce a ton of weak contact. That cutter has really changed the whole outlook on Yajure. He loves to throw the pitch when he’s behind in counts because he has such good command of that pitch. When hitters are gearing up for a fastball, he throws his cutter which is able to generate a ton of weak contact which can get him out of jams. Yajure is pitching like a veteran pitcher in the minors and he displays a great feel for the game. While his name isn’t as sexy right now as Clarke Schmidt or Deivi Garica, his name is one to definitely keep your eyes on.

High Floor

While there might be more prospects in the system that have higher ceilings, there might not be as many prospects who have higher floors. MLB Pipeline says that the floor for Yajure at this point would be a 4-5 starter in a major league rotation. However, if he continues to progress down the path he’s heading, it’s not crazy to think he could be a 2-3 starter in a major league rotation. Whenever the season gets underway, I would like to see Yajure continue to develop his offspeed pitches to compliment his fastball and cutter. If he can keep those pitches progressing on the same path as his fastball and cutter, Yajure is the type of pitcher who can rise extremely quickly through the farm system. Definitely a player that New York Yankee fans should be paying attention to when the 2020 season gets underway.

New York Yankees prospect Miguel Yajure could force his way to the majors

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees seem to have a plentiful amount of young pitching prospects climbing the ranks as of late, with Deivi Garcia leading the pack and potentially becoming a relief option this season. Aside from Garcia, who has until August 31 to find his way to the majors, 21-year-old Miguel Yajure has been extremely impressive in High-A ball.

The New York Yankees have another good one rising through the ranks:

His recent stretch of dominance has been eye-opening, and it certainly has caught the attention of scouts in the Yankees minor-league network.

“And the best pitcher in the organization right now might be Miguel Yajure in Tampa,” the scout said, according to NJ.com.

Yajure has been extremely impressive with Tampa this season, reaching 97 mph on his fastball and earning a 2.15 ERA with an 8-6 record over 17 starters. His array of pitches and speed has produced plenty of weak contact hits and strikeouts. He has 119 strikeouts over about 121 innings, averaging 8.8 SO9.

“It’s been impressive,” High-A manager Aaron Holbert said in a phone interview of Yajure.

MLB Pipeline ranks him as the Yankees’ 27th ranked prospect, an interestingly low number considering his performance this season. We have to imagine that ranking will improve in 2020.

Holbert also stated:

“He gets out there and commands the strike zone and is unafraid to pitch to either side of the plate. A huge plus is that his velo has spiked up. He touched 97 his last time out. And he’s able to mix in a plus curve, a plus changeup as well as a nice little cutter to keep guys from leaning out over the plate.”

With MLB-quality speed on his fastball and his ability to work the plate, Yajure could be a reliable option moving forward, if not in the bullpen this season than indeed next year after the retirement of CC Sabathia. The Venezuelan pitcher will be Rule 5 Draft eligible this upcoming offseason, which means the Yanks must put him on the 40-man roster.