The New York Yankees’ farm system, now consisting of just four teams with nothing below Low-A, has been collectively tearing the cover off the ball this season — as well as spinning it spectacularly on the mound.
Recent first-round picks like Anthony Volpe (.290/.418/.536) and Austin Wells (.285/.404/.477) have both been special in their debut seasons at Tampa. No. 4 prospect Oswald Peraza is raking across two levels, looking special at both High-A and Double-A (.295/.369/.511).
On the mound, upper-tier players like Luis Gil and Luis Medina have shown flashes of brilliance, with the former already finding himself at Triple-A ahead of schedule. Even pitchers with fewer expectations tied to them, like Glenn Otto and especially Ken Waldichuk (55 Ks in 30.2 scoreless freaking innings) have looked truly special.
Steps forward for everyone, winning records all around. What could be frustrating about that? Well…
Everyone — and we mean everyone — the Yankees have been monitoring this season has looked great, except for at the very top of the farm system at positions of need.
In essence: there have been a lot of great performances from a lot of Yankees prospects who’ve given us renewed faith in the farm system, except for the three players who’d help out the team most right now have either been injured, absent, terrible, or a combination of the three.
The Yankees’ 3 most helpful prospects (Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt and Estevan Florial) haven’t been … helping.
Deivi Garcia, who could theoretically be giving the Yankees much-needed rotation relief with Luis Severino and Corey Kluber both gone, has been nothing short of awful. In fact, he’s imploded, and has lost all corners of the plate. In his first taste of Triple-A baseball since 2019, the wheels have fallen off Pedro Martinez Jr. in the form of 22 walks in 23.1 innings pitched and an 8.10 ERA. Untenable.
Ditto Clarke Schmidt, who should’ve theoretically taken a step forward this year, but has yet to appear on a mound in live action. When one of the two closest-to-the-majors pitching prospects is hitting a roadblock like Garcia is, it’d be nice for the Yankees to have another one to fall back on. Nope. Michael King is it; Schmidt still seems to be weeks away.
What about the offense? This team is in serious need of a shakeup, especially in center field. Well, Estevan Florial, everyone’s favorite quick-twitch solution, has struggled mightily with the swing-and-miss stuff of Triple-A pitching.
At Scranton, it’s taken a recent hot streak to even elevate his numbers to respectability. Overall, he’s hitting .195 at the level with 29 strikeouts in 87 at-bats.
Luckily, he remains on the radar because, when right, he can do things like this:
Florial possesses a unique power/speed combination that he could eventually parlay into a successful Yankees career.
Garcia showed off the poise and professionalism of a much older and more experienced pitcher in 2020.
Schmidt, for all intents and purposes, looked like a budding ace last spring.
The Yankees’ farm system, top to bottom, features a number of very interesting prospects on helium alert. Unfortunately, the three the team was counting on most have either struggled to adjust or have disappeared.