Who is the Yankees’ Next Great Rookie?
The New York Yankees have had a history of amazing rookies, and over the past several years that has continued to be true with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and many others.
However, now that the Yankees’ lineup is pretty consistent, it’s hard for a rookie to make his way into the starting nine and play on a consistent basis. There is however Clarke Schmidt, who the Yankees could call up in 2020, but is more likely for 2021.
The Yankees drafted Clarke Schmidt with the 16th overall pick in 2017 out of The University of South Carolina. Since then, Schmidt has floated between several Yankees Minor League teams and has yet to make his MLB Debut.
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However, he was very impressive this season in the Yankees’ intrasquad matchups and I would expect him to make his MLB debut this season, before being added onto the five-man rotation for a full season next year.
Schmidt is the Yankees’ second-highest ranked prospect and is 87th on MLB.com’s rankings of the top-100 prospects in Major League Baseball. This being said, there are some pretty high expectations for Schmidt, but he is more than capable of living up to them.
With Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ all heading into free agency this offseason, one would imagine there will be at least one open spot in the rotation, giving Schmidt or Deivi Garcia a chance to make the Opening Day roster.
My bet is that if it’s one or the other, it’ll be Clarke Schmidt who gets the rotation spot, potentially giving him the opportunity to be the 2021 American League Rookie of the Year.