Tampa, FL- Yankees 2017 1st round pick, Clarke Schmidt, continues to rehab in the Gulf Coast League. The Yankees took the South Carolina right-hander 16th overall and were not dissuaded by the surgery, which was performed April 2017.
Making just his 3rd start of the season, Schmidt worked 2 1/3 IP, facing nine hitters. He allowed two hits, both to the opposite field, and struck out 3. Schmidt threw 36 pitches, 24 for strikes. He also generated seven swing-and-misses. His fastball sat 93 m.p.h. while his slider was 87 mph. Schmidt threw 1-2 curveballs at 80-82 mph and a change-up at 81 mph. He predominately featured a fastball/slider combo, working the outside against lefties to generate weak contact.
The critical take away from this start is the command. Velocity is the first thing to come back with movement and command lagging behind. Schmidt was able to throw strikes and generate swing and miss with subpar stuff and utilizing only half of his repertoire.
It’s easy to see why the Yankees coveted Schmidt so highly despite the injury. He has a strong lower half and a good feel for pitching. I don’t expect the Yankees to turn him loose in 2018. Schmidt will most likely remain in the GCL until he is able to work up to 5-6 innings.