The Yankees are in desperate need of starting pitching help and they have a solid prospect in Clarke Schmidt, who still has a while to go until he reaches the big leagues, however.
With still three weeks left to discuss every possible trade deadline rumor, I thought it would be refreshing to talk about a prospect that we are yet to fill you in on. A month ago, we discussed the Yankees 2018 first round draft pick, Anthony Seigler. However, it is time we start talking about Clarke Schmidt, the Yankees first-round draft pick in 2017.
Despite undergoing Tommy John Surgery just two months before the 2017 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected the 6-foot-1, 200-pound right-handed pitcher with the 16th overall pick. After over a year of rehab, Schmidt faced a live batter for the first time on May 22nd and on June 6th, Schmidt faced his first competition as a member of the Yankees organization in the Gulf Coast League.
Finally faced live hitters for the first time in over a year! What a blessing! Thankful for everyone who helped get me to this point! Getting closer and closer!!
— Clarke Schmidt (@ClarkeSchmidt) May 22, 2018
As a Sophomore at the University of South Carolina, Schmidt tossed 113.1 innings while posting a 3.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He struck out just under 11 batters per nine innings. Before tearing his UCL in his Junior season, he had held his opponents to a batting average of .194 while posting a 1.32 ERA along with 70 Strikeouts in 60.1 innings pitched.
Today, the 22-year-old Schmidt ranks as the Yankees No. 11 prospect who has a promising fastball which topped out at 96 MPH before his surgery. He also has an above average curveball and a slider in his repertoire.
See below as he faces this years third round (97th overall) draft pick, Ryder Green.
Raw footage. Yankees GCL. Clarke Schmidt v Ryder Green pic.twitter.com/gVawDheO9H
— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) July 10, 2018
Clarke isn’t the only one in his family to be drafted by a Major League Baseball team. His brother and best friend Clate, who is just two years older, was drafted out of high school in 2012 by the Detroit Tigers in the 36th round.
Like Clarke, Clate has also faced adversity at a young age. Just three years ago, Clate was diagnosed with a form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has since made his way back on the baseball field where he is currently playing in the Midwest League in the Tigers organization.
Time will tell whether or not the Yankees over-reached with the 16th overall draft pick last year or if the risk was worth the reward. Should Clarke Schmidt pan out, the Yankees fan base will have yet another young arm to follow in the farm system.