After a rough start to his career, the good news keeps coming for Clarke Schmidt. The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, who was named MLB.com's No. 88 overall prospect last month, was one of 19 players to receive a non-roster invitation to Major League Spring Training from the Yankees on Monday.
After a rough start to his career, the good news keeps coming for Clarke Schmidt.
The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, who was named MLB.com's No. 88 overall prospect last month, was one of 19 players to receive a non-roster invitation to Major League Spring Training from the Yankees on Monday.
Schmidt was taken in the first round of the 2017 Draft out of the University of South Carolina shortly after undergoing Tommy John surgery. After rehabbing from the elbow procedure, he made his Minor League debut on June 22, 2018 and made eight appearances that season in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues. The 2019 campaign was meant to be Schmidt's first full Minor League season, but he spent about five weeks on the injured list with elbow inflammation.
Still, the former Gamecock finished with a 3.47 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 102 strikeouts and 28 walks over 90 2/3 innings between the GCL, Class A Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2019. His 2.68 FIP and 27.2 percent strikeout rate were third-best among Yankees farmhands with at least 90 innings pitched while his 3.6 K/BB ratio placed fourth. He also made two postseason appearances for Trenton and gave up just one earned run while fanning 13 over 10 2/3 frames during the Thunder's run to the Eastern League title.
When healthy, Schmidt shows the potential for several above-average pitches. His four-seam fastball reaches the mid-90s while his two-seamer features plenty of movement. His curveball and changeup also received 55 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale from MLB.com. The arsenal points to a future in a Major League rotation, but Schmidt will have to prove his durability.
No. 13 Alexander Vizcaino was the only other non-roster invitee to end 2019 among MLB.com's top 30 Yankees prospects. The 22-year-old right-hander can touch the upper-90s with his heater and features a plus changeup. He posted a 4.38 ERA with 128 K's in 115 frames with Tampa and Class A Charleston last season.
The other Yankees non-roster invitees are pitchers Domingo Acevedo, Luis Avilán, David Hale, Tyler Lyons, Dan Otero and Nick Tropeano; catchers Kellin Deglan, Chris Iannetta, Erik Kratz, Wynston Sawyer and Josh Thole; infielders Chris Gittens and Kyle Holder; outfielders Trey Amburgey, Zack Granite and Thomas Milone and utilityman Rosell Herrera.
Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Tampa on Feb. 12. Position players report on Feb. 17.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.