Clarke Schmidt, the 24-year-old top prospect for the New York Yankees has a lot of breakout potential. His stuff is filthy, and I think there’s a lot to like about him. While he may not be the guy everyone thinks will make the rotation, I think he has a very good shot at it. It’s up to the Yankees and Matt Blake to utilize his amazing pitch mix arsenal.
Clarke Schmidt Has An Amazing Pitch Mix
In 2020 we saw only 126 pitches of Schmidt, but we saw some amazing pitches. Schmidt has a pitch mix that can be turned into something amazing, the only issue so far has been command. He had a 15.2% BB% and a 41.3% ball%. That being said, it can’t be denied that he is extremely talented.
This pitch mix is extremely enticing, as he has a good fastball spin rate and velocity. He also has a power sinker that can generate groundballs if he locates them better, as it’s a very solid pitch. The best of them all, though? His wicked slider clocked in at over 3,000 RPM in 2020. Yes, it was a small sample size, but it got swings and misses and RPM. It was a devastating pitch and is the pitch he could be put on the map for.
Taking Massive Strides As a Starter
Schmidt recently did an interview with David Laurila on Fangraphs where they discussed his strides this offseason. He mentioned his heavier use of analytics to develop better pitches and his emerging two-seam fastball. While he didn’t talk about any dramatic groundbreaking tweaks, he did talk about changes. He’s trying to tweak his changeup to a power changeup to fool hitters into thinking it’s his two-seamer and he hopes to generate more swings and misses with this pitch.
Schmidt mentions how it’s RPM is around 2,100 to 2,200 RPM and around 95 MPH. If Schmidt is able to elevate that two-seamer and use it to get more whiffs, he can be a beast in 2021.
I really do believe in Clarke Schmidt to be a good starter in 2021. If the Yankees have a competition for those 4th and 5th spots in Spring Training, don’t be surprised if Schmidt wins a spot.