He stands 6’1 with a 200-pound frame. This Acworth, Georgia native was drafted 16th overall by the Yankees in the 2017 draft despite having received Tommy John surgery just a month before his next professional destination was determined. He possesses a four-pitch repertoire. His name is Clarke Schmidt.
Originally signed for $2,184,300, Schmidt has been pitching at a market value far greater than that. Last year, Schmidt registered a 3.09 ERA, a WHIP of 0.943, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.00:1 between stints with the Staten Island Yankees and the GCL Yankees.
The former University of South Carolina ace has also produced great results this year with the Tampa Tarpons, the Yankees’ A+ affiliate, as he has posted a 2.08 ERA and has averaged 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
While questions about his durability remain, given his Tommy John surgery and his awkward delivery, Schmidt should see himself move up to the Trenton Thunder, and perhaps very soon, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the AA and AAA affiliates of the Yankees, respectively.
Schmidt’s best pitch is his fastball, which has peaked at 96 mph, and has generated ground balls at a voluminous rate. His secondary pitches, which include a slider, a low 80s curveball, and a rarely-used changeup, have not been nearly as praised, and need much improvement, though his breaking balls have been noted for generating a lot of his strikeouts. Ultimately, Schmidt is a somewhat undersized power pitcher who struggles with command, but his fastball can definitely compensate for any insufficiency on his other pitches, though he has improved his command more this year thus far.