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Does Clarke Schmidt Deserve a Roster Spot?

For those who don’t know, Clarke Schmidt is the Yankees’ top pitching prospect and #2 overall prospect in their minor league system behind only Jasson Dominguez. Schmidt is ranked as the #88 prospect on MLB’s top 100 prospects list.

Schmidt is almost MLB ready and is looking to make his MLB debut as soon as baseball returns. The right-hander has four pitches in his arsenal, a mid 90’s four seam fastball that can touch as high as 97 on the radar gun along with three off-speed pitches. He throws a change-up and a slider but his strikeout pitch has been his curveball which has seen tremendous growth in control and movement since coming out of college.

Schmidt is yet to start a game in Triple A and experienced limited time in Double A last year but has scouts salivating over his potential. Last year Schmidt posted a 2.37 ERA across 16 appearances in both Single and Double A. Schmidt posted a WHIP of 1.05 and struck out 88 batters across 82 innings. These are numbers that get scouts and fan bases excited.

With injuries always a question with the Yankees’ pitching, could Schmidt potentially earn a roster spot?

The Yankees rotation as it stands is Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, J.A. Happ, and Jordan Montgomery. This is due to the injury to Luis Severino and suspension of Domingo German. The Yanks rotation is solid but Paxton has had multiple stints on the IL and will be coming off back surgery when baseball returns. Happ has yet to prove he can be a consistent starter for the Yankees and may be more of a fit for a middle relief man in the bullpen. Montgomery broke out having an excellent 2017 starting 29 games for the Bombers and posting a 3.88 ERA, but again Monty has lost the majority of 2018 and 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. I believe he is primed for a big 2020 season if baseball returns.

The question marks are all over the place for the Bronx rotation and Schmidt could be the fix. He will likely need to spend some time in Scranton-Wilkes Barre before making his debut in the pinstripes but Schmidt is very close to the MLB and his youth and powerful arm could be exactly what the Yankees need to help propel them to a 28th ring.

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