New York Yankees: Two Pitching Prospects Who Should Get a Shot in 2020
By Scott Roche
These two Yankees pitching prospects will benefit from expended 2020 rosters.
With the announcement on Tuesday that Major League Baseball and the Players Association came to an agreement for a 60-game 2020 season, there is hope for some New York Yankees minor league players who lost their season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan calls for MLB teams to come together July 1 for a second Spring Training at their home ballpark cities with their 40-man rosters and 20 taxi players comprised of minor leaguers and prospects. With the minor league seasons likely canceled because of COVID-19, two Yankees pitching prospects who could benefit from a 2020 season are Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia.
Following this season, the Yankees have some starting pitchers that become free agents. Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ are set to hit the open market. What happens when they do is anyone’s guess. It’s going to be tough for free agents to cash in this offseason because of not only the current pandemic, but also the uncertainty of the current CBA that is set to expire after the 2021 season.
It is expected that the Yankees will lose at least one of the three starting pitchers. Luis Severino is expected back at some point in 2021 from Tommy John surgery he had in February, and Domingo German is expected back from his suspension for domestic violence. With the uncertainty surrounding what those players would look like with almost 16 months off a mound, it makes any experience and work Schmidt and Garcia get in 2020 all the more important for the future.
A 24-year-old highly-touted right-hander, Schmidt has spent two seasons in the Yankees minors. In 114 innings pitched, he has 132 strikeouts and only 34 walks. He has not pitched past Double-A Trenton (where he’s only pitched in three games in 2019). A four-pitch pitcher, he added a curveball to his arsenal last season and it was impressive in the short stint he had on the mound in Florida prior to the shutdown on March 12.
Garcia has four years in the minors for the Yankees. In 293.2 inning pitched, he has 416 strikeouts with a 3.37 ERA. Last season, he made it Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and struggled with a 5.40 ERA and a 1-3 record. He finished the 2019 season working out of the bullpen, but has the stuff that can work as either a starter or reliever.
Regardless of what happens in the 60-game regular season, expect to see both young pitchers high on the chart, which will be helpful not only for a shortened 2020 season, but the 2021 season as well. With departing free agents looming over the offseason, these two top pitchers in the system have a chance to make their cases for the future of the Yankees pitching staff.