Prospect Profile: Clarke Schmidt
The Yankees took a bit of a gamble on Clarke Schmidt when they drafted the injured pitcher in the first round of 2017. The University of South Carolina pitcher had undergone Tommy John surgery in May, so the Yankees were able to sign him for below slot ($2,184,300). Due to his recovery, Schmidt didn’t make his debut until 2018, throwing just 23.1 innings, but he showed some great signs of why the Yankees signed him in the first place.
Name: Clarke Schmidt Birthdate: February 20, 1996 Position: Pitcher Bat/Throw: R/R Height: 6’1 Weight: 200
Schmidt played high school baseball in Georgia and went undrafted in 2014, prompting him to attend South Carolina. While he split time between starting and the bullpen during his freshman year, Schmidt was added to the rotation his sophomore year. He threw 111 innings that season with a 3.40 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. His junior year started strong, as he made nine starts and had a 1.34 ERA before being shut down and having surgery.
On June 22, 2018, Schmidt made his professional debut with the GCL Yankees East team. In his inning of work he gave up two runs on three hits, but he struck out two batters as in the process. He went on and played his next three games with the Yankees GCL West team, where he only allowed one run and four hits in 7.1 innings. He struck out eight and walked two. After a couple more games with GCL East again, Schmidt was sent up to Staten Island where he put together his two longest outings (going 4 and 4.1 innings). He only allowed one run on four hits, struck out ten and walked two.
Schmidt has a plus fastball, sitting at 92-94 generally, though he has hit 96. His fastball has a heavy sink and is a solid strikeout pitch. His curveball and slider are both pitches that have plus potential, but he lacks consistency with them. Schmidt also continues to work on a changeup. If he can find some consistency with those secondary pitches, he would be a solid starter. He is also a player who is known for having good makeup on and off the field.