Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt ready to open eyes in 2020

The New York Yankees are just about set to begin competing in spring training. With that, we will get a good look at one of the top prospects in the organization. Despite being drafted only three years ago, starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt is ready to open some eyes in 2020.

All of the rage so far has revolved around the big man in Gerrit Cole. That is to be expected. But while he leads the starting rotation, Schmidt will be doing what he can to turn some heads this spring in hopes of making his Major League debut at some point during the 2020 season. He has the stuff to do it and an opportunity to showcase his talents this spring.

“The No. 1 goal for me this year is to be in the big leagues,” Schmidt told Bryan Hoch of Sunday. “I want to show these guys that I can get significant outs at the Major League level. I’ve always held myself in very high regard and I’ve always been a very confident kid. I know that I can go up there and I can help this team, whether it may be a playoff push or whatever it may be. I want to open the eyes that I need to open.”

The Yankees will start the season down one of their better starting pitchers. Southpaw James Paxton will miss the beginning of the season after having back surgery just before spring training started. Unless he has an incredible spring, Schmidt likely isn’t really in the running for the No. 5 rotation spot just yet.

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The rotation probably will go along the lines of Cole, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery to begin 2020. Schmidt is still young in his career with the Yankees—he only has 114.0 innings pitched in the minor leagues thus far. This means that while he could be on a fast track to the show, the Yankees aren’t going to rush into things.

But that doesn’t leave out an opportunity for the South Carolina product to potentially see the big leagues in 2020. This is especially true if he continues to learn from the aforementioned Cole, something that is already taking place in Tampa.

“He’s next-level with this stuff,” Schmidt said. “You might go through a particular Minor League team and find five or six guys that are super articulate and detail-oriented. Then you come up here and every single guy is detail-oriented. That’s why they’re here. Cole knows literally knows every single thing that he wants to do, and so that’s someone I look up to. That’s what I want to do.”

Schmidt still has a ways to go before making a major impact, but he’s on the right track. And he’s ready to show the Yankees what he can do in 2020.

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