Prospect Spotlight: Clarke Schmidt


One of the young guns making a ton of noise early on in the Spring has been 2017 first round draftee Clarke Schmidt. Schmidt did not see any action at all in 2017, as he underwent Tommy John Surgery in April – just two months before the draft – but the Yankees still liked what they saw in him and decided the take the risk. 

Photo Credit; Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

In 2018, finally recovered from his TJS, Schmidt made five starts in rookie ball for the Gulf Coast League Yankees before being promoted to low-A Staten Island Yankees where he would finish the season.  In eight games (seven starts) across both levels, he went 0-3, but with a promising 3.09 ERA, 0.943 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in just 23.1 innings of work, issuing just a single HR.

Schmidt would continue his progression last year, split across three levels, pitching to a combined 6-5 record with a 3.47 ERA over 19 appearances (18 starts).  In 90.2 innings, he struck out 102, walked 28, and allowed only four HRs.

Now finally stretched out and back in the groove, Schmidt entered 2020 with no defined level of the organization, and a ton of upside.  Per MLB.com’s 2020 Prospect Rankings, Schmidt is the #2 prospect in the Yankees’ system, behind only phenom Jasson Dominguez, and is ranked #88 overall. 

The young righty’s best pitches are his fastballs – a four-seamer and two-seamer – graded as a 60 on the 20-80 grading scale.  Per MLB.com’s scouting, “Schmidt has three pitches that grade as plus at their best, and his slider did as well before he scrapped it to focus on his curveball. He uses two- and four-seam fastballs, ranging from 92-97 mph with heavy sink on the former and cut and carry on the latter. His tumbling changeup bottoms out at the plate and his low-80s curve features good depth.”

While Schmidt is unlikely to be considered for the starting rotation (he has never made any AAA appearances and has only three starts at the AA level), he has undoubtedly arrived and should be on all fans’ radars for the future.  It’s not inconceivable that we see him in the Bronx later this season.

So far this Spring, Schmidt has made two appearances, throwing three hitless innings against just a single walk and three strikeouts.  He’s even made an appearance on the Pitching Ninja Twitter account:



The future is bright for this former collegiate stud, and now that he’s fully recovered from his 2017 Tommy John Surgery and has a full season of work under his belt, the sky is the limit.  Be sure you are keeping an eye on the exciting Schmidt this season.

Article by: Andrew Natalizio

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