Meet NY's Young SP Candidates

jon abbey

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With NY adding 5 more young SPs to their 40 man last week, they may have more young pitching talent on their 40 man roster right now than they've had in many years, maybe ever. I will gradually go through and profile them in rough order of accomplishment/potential, age as of 1/1/20 in parentheses, as well as what looks like the next wave as of now:

On the 40 man:

Deivi Garcia (20)
Luis Gil (21)
Luis Medina (20)
Michael King (24)
Albert Abreu (24)
Miguel Yajure (21)
Nick Nelson (24)

Not on the 40 man yet:

Clarke Schmidt (23)
Yoendrys Gomez (20)
Roansy Contreras (20)
Alexander Vizcaino (22)
Trevor Stephan (24)
Frank German (22)
Osiel Rodriguez (18)
 

jon abbey

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First up is Deivi Garcia, generally regarded as one of NY's top two current prospects along with wunderkind 16 year old Jasson Dominguez.

Deivi just turned 20 in May but he jumped from high A to AAA last year and was in AAA after mid-July. I'm not sure how to research it but there's a good chance he was the youngest player in the International League (Bo Bichette held this title coming into 2019, he is 14 months older than Deivi). Here is Cashman talking about that after the season:

“For his age, to do what he’s doing,” Cashman said. “I was just looking at Baseball America last night and he’s listed as like, Double-A All-Star, and I think it opened up with him being the youngest pitcher in the Eastern League. And I was like, he was probably the youngest pitcher in the [Triple-A] International League, and if he got here, he would have been the youngest pitcher in the big leagues. It was an incredible run. But obviously he’ll go on the roster this winter and we’ll see what we got in the spring.”

 

jon abbey

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Keith Law had him as his #29 overall prospect in his midseason top 50 in mid-July:

=============================

29. Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees

Garcia is just 5-foot-9, and his isn't a very physical or wide frame, but I've seen him three times this summer, and he's always 90-96 with three viable off-speed pitches, usually at least two of them showing plus, and hitters cut through his fastball like he's throwing 105 with spin. There's a ton of deception in his delivery -- from behind the plate, I can't pick the ball up until the last possible second from his hand -- and he pitches in the strike zone with the confidence of a big leaguer. I can't put a huge ceiling on a kid this small, but I like him as much as I can like a pitcher this size and weight.
 

jon abbey

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And #25 for BP that same week, I didn't remember he got this high:

"25.) Deivi Garcia, RHP, New York Yankees

Why he’ll succeed
: A plus fastball, a plus-plus curveball, a new slider that’s trending towards plus itself, and a usable changeup. That’s not quite as broad as Mize’s arsenal, but it’s not that far off, and we said in his blurb that a healthy Mize would’ve contended for the top spot on this list. The stuff is unimpeachable. He absolutely crushed Double-A this year and earned the call-up to Triple-A even though he turned 20 just six weeks ago.

Why he might fail: He’s even smaller than Patiño, listed at just 5-foot-9 and 163 pounds. That’s tiny for a starting pitcher. While we don’t have any specific durability concerns here, we’re just not sure about his ability to handle the workload to stuff him higher. Sometimes-wavering command could push him further towards a bullpen outcome, although we’d expect that to be higher end too."
 

jon abbey

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He struggled somewhat after his promotion to AAA, whether it was the MLB balls or hitting a wall or whatever, but one reason they promoted him so quickly out of AA was that he had back to back games in late June there of a combined 11 1 0 0 3 24. After that, I posted:

"I wonder what he has to do to get promoted again. this was his 10th start in AA (9th this season). For reference Casey Mize was the #1 overall pick in 2018 and is the #1 pitching prospect in the minors currently (#2 overall on mlb.com behind just wunderkind Wander Franco), I am not comparing anything here but age and strikeouts since they are both pitching in the same league (although Mize has been shut down for a bit with 'minor shoulder inflammation'):

Mize (22, born in May 1997) has 50 Ks in 52 innings in 9 starts.
Garcia (20, born in May 1999) has 76 Ks in 47 innings in 9 starts."
 

crow216

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I love stories like that which show determination. More than anything, you want players, especially young ones, on your team to care about getting better. Can't wait to see him in the bigs.
 

jon abbey

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Actually I forgot about that, I'm certainly not proclaiming that NY will field a full homegrown (I hate this word in the context it's used, unless baseball teams are raising kids from babies) rotation but they have a lot more candidates to draw from this time. Also googling who was in the 'Royal Flush' brings up Dellin Betances, Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez and Joba Chamberlain, who were mostly in the very low minors at that point (http://www.nyyfansforum.com/showthread.php/100654-Hughes-Sanchez-Chamberlain-Betances). Three of those four ended up making All-Star teams (although maybe all as relievers?) and one was a dud, so actually a pretty good hit rate.

Two huge differences here (besides that I'm not proclaiming success for them), NY has 14 candidates this time instead of 4, and the top bunch of them are a lot closer to the bigs.
 

jon abbey

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OK, I stopped these after Deivi waiting to see if any of these guys got traded, but for now it looks like all will continue with NY, onward and hopefully upward.

So next up is Clarke Schmidt, if he is not NY's 5th starter at the start of the season, he will probably be 6th or 7th, even though he is not on the 40 man yet. NY drafted him 16th overall in the 1st round in 2017, and evidently he would have gone even higher if he didn't have Tommy John surgery 40 days before the draft. He led the SEC in ERA before getting hurt with a skimpy 1.34. He was a bit slow to come back from surgery and didn't pitch much in 2018, he took a bit to get going in 2019 too but then he ended on a roll, 1 ER in his last 4 AA starts combined including two playoff games. He is on a bunch of top 100 MLB prospect lists this winter:

Keith Law: 51
BA: 62
prospects365: 80
Kiley McDaniel/ESPN: 82
mlb.com: 88

He will likely start in AAA or even possibly AA since he didn't get there until mid-August last year, but he is close to getting his chance if he keeps it up. He turned 24 in February but only pitched 101 innings last year, so they might stop him at 140-150 if he gets there.
 

jon abbey

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MLB.com:

Scouting Grades/Report (20-80 grading scale)
  • FASTBALL
    60
  • CURVEBALL
    55
  • CHANGEUP
    55
  • CONTROL
    50
  • OVERALL
    55
  • Though Schmidt established himself as one of the best pitchers in college baseball's best conference (Southeastern), his prospect status took a hit when he had Tommy John surgery a month before the 2017 Draft. The Yankees still selected him 16th overall, signed him for a below-slot $2,184,300 and used the savings to ink second-rounder Matt Sauer. While Sauer had his elbow reconstructed in 2019, Schmidt softened that blow by making a full recovery and finishing last season by helping Trenton win the Double-A Eastern League championship.
  • Schmidt has three pitches that grade as plus at their best, and his slider did as well before he scrapped it to focus on his curveball. He uses two- and four-seam fastballs, ranging from 92-97 mph with heavy sink on the former and cut and carry on the latter. His tumbling changeup bottoms out at the plate and his low-80s curve features good depth.
    Schmidt has a history of throwing strikes but his control has stood out more than his command. He was especially sharp after reaching Double-A in mid-August, looking like he could fit into the middle of the Yankees' rotation in the near future. His size and less-than-smooth delivery led to concerns about his durability even before he had Tommy John surgery, and he missed a month last year with minor elbow inflammation."
 

jon abbey

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Keith Law (this is what I was thinking of when I answered you, @Marciano490, and Law has him the highest ranked of anyone):

51. Clarke Schmidt, RHP, New York Yankees

Schmidt had already had Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2017 when the Yankees made him their first-round pick that June. After a 2018 season where he barely pitched around an oblique strain, he had a successful “real” debut in 2019, throwing 90 2/3 innings and finishing with three strong starts in Double A. Schmidt will pitch at 91-95 mph, and he already misses bats with his fastball, pairing it up with a power slurve that’s 80-85 and is best when it’s harder and gets more slider-like tilt to it. He commands both pitches very well for a prospect without a ton of pro experience. His changeup has good action but is a little too firm, it’s as if he has the right grip but needs to improve his feel for the pitch. His delivery is better now than it was pre-Tommy John surgery, staying more closed with a shorter arm path, so while there’s still effort, he looks like a starter now. If he can build up to that workload, he has a fourth starter floor and a ceiling of a good No. 3.
 

Marciano490

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I appreciate that. I already have Deivi (thanks to you) and am looking for more long-term upside because I don't have too many aces, so I passed on Schmidt for now. I think everyone else in my league is a west coaster, so I've been able to grab most of the Sox and Yankees prospects before they get on everyone else's radar. I'm keeping an eye on Medina, too.