Murti: Yankees' Top Pitching Prospects Garcia, Schmidt Ready For Chance In Spring Training

These Young Pitchers Could Soon Be In The Majors

Sweeny Murti
February 17, 2020 - 10:37 am
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This spring, it’s time to learn more about Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt. 

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Garcia, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, will turn 21 in May. His overall numbers across three minor league levels last year: 5-9, 4.28 ERA over 111 innings with 165 strikeouts and 54 walks.

Garica began last year at Single-A Tampa, where he struck out 33 batters and allowed only six earned runs in 17.2 innings. 

At Class AA Trenton, Garcia made the Eastern League All-Star team and pitched a 1-2-3 inning at the Futures Game in Cleveland. He struggled for the first time after being promoted to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, pitching to a 5.40 ERA in 40 innings there. 

Deivi Garcia
USA TODAY Images

Schmidt, drafted in the first round (16th overall) in 2017, will turn 24 this week. His overall numbers across three levels last year: 6-5, with a 3.47 ERA over 90 innings with 102 strikeouts and 28 walks.

After making three starts in the Gulf Coast League, Schmidt went to Class A Tampa, where he went 4-5, with a 3.84 ERA over 63 innings.

In August, Schmidt was promoted to Trenton and went 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts. Then, he went 1-0 with a 0.88 ERA in two postseason starts to help Trenton win the Eastern League Championship. 

Garcia and Schmidt are the consensus top pitching prospects in the Yankees organization and are among the tops in all of baseball. Both players are in their first big league camps, so it’s a chance for them to open some eyes. There’s a good chance for both of them to make their major league debuts at some point during the 2020 season, and both players are confident in their ability to make it there this campaign.

"I prepared myself very well to come here to camp,” Garcia said. “It would be humbling to get that call to help the team.”

“This is an awesome opportunity, obviously,” Schmidt said. “If the door’s cracked open and I see a little light there I’m going to try to kick it down. I want to make impressions and open eyes and show these guys that I can get significant outs at this level.”

While Garcia’s crisp slider and changeup have helped him dominate A and AA, fastball command hurt him by contributing to his struggles in Triple-A. Garcia feels his AAA stint was his best learning experience of the year. 

“(I learned) how they would swing at certain pitches and what kind of reactions they would make after swinging,” Garcia said. “Paying attention to those close details that gives you some information.”

Schmidt is now almost three years removed from Tommy John surgery and felt strong through his first full year pitching post-surgery. 

“With the playoffs in Trenton I think I ended up with 106 innings or something like that,” Schmidt said. “To get above the hundred inning mark was my goal at the beginning of the year, so to be able to do that, I felt great. I probably felt better during the (playoff push) than I did coming out of spring training. My body felt good, my mechanics felt great and my stuff was playing up because everything was so much more in sync.”

There are other young pitchers in their first big league camp that the Yankees are excited about: Luis Medina, Miguel Yajure, Nick Nelson, Luis Gil and Alexander Vizcaino among them. But Garcia and Schmidt are the ones whose high rankings will get them the most attention for as long as they remain on this side of the street.

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