If you watched top prospect Clarke Schmidt’s “rehab” start on Thursday night in Somerset, you probably also noticed that the Yankees inserted a “reliever” to follow the righty who was even more electric from the left-hand side.
That was Ken Waldichuk. Though you may not be familiar with 2019’s fifth-rounder out of St. Mary’s, he’s been among the fastest risers in the system, and you can bank on his appearance in the top-15 of all the end-of-year top prospect lists.
That’s what happens when you whiff 127 men in 79.1 innings, after all, across two highly competitive levels of baseball (High-A and Double-A) after a year without the game in 2020.
How did Waldichuk set this meteoric rise in motion? Trust in his stuff, a lot of hard work guided by the team staff during the shutdown, and a little friendly competition with his brother in terms of building velocity throughout 2020.
Luckily, he told us all about it on Wednesday’s Yanks Go Yard podcast in an exclusive interview, which you can listen to below:
Yankees top prospect Ken Waldichuk spoke to Adam and Thomas on the Yanks Go Yard Podcast
Yeah, you’re going to want to listen to this one before Waldichuk forced the Yankees’ hand with a 40-man roster decision.
He’s been that good and that far ahead of schedule this season, playing with a slurve-y breaking ball that reminds Thomas (and anyone with proper eyesight) of the very best of Clayton Kershaw.
Still just 23 years old, Waldichuk has had any number of coming out parties throughout this spectacular season, and has carried his momentum to Somerset with regularity.
If you’re just now experiencing his arsenal because you tuned in for Schmidt’s return to the mound in organized ball, there’s no shame in that. We’re happy to have you join the party.
Best of luck to this new Friend of the Pod moving forward.
Let’s just swap out that Patriot logo for an interlocking N-Y sooner rather than later.