Part 5 of a series that analyzes the main perspectives of the Yankees
Any conversation about the Yankees’ prospects these days begins with Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt. Or Clarke Schmidt and Deivi García. You choose the order.
Garcia, 20, pitched for Single-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre last year and was mentioned as a possible September call-up in a relief position, but was not called up. Schmidt, 24, also worked on three levels, reaching Trenton where he made three starts.
However, when it comes to this season, if there is one, right-hander Mike King could land a place on the expanded roster ahead of Garcia and Schmidt.
After being limited to 11 minor league games and a major league outing last season due to a right elbow issue that arose early in spring training, King was healthy in spring training this year when he appeared in four games and worked 9 ¹ / ₃ entries.
Acquired from the Marlins with international slot money on November 20, 2017 for left-hander Caleb Smith and infielder Garrett Cooper, King capitalized on a strong 2017 season for Single-A Greensboro by going 11-5 combined with a ERA. 1.79 for Tampa, Trenton and SWB in 2018. In 161 ¹ / ₃ innings, King allowed 118 hits, struck out 152 and walked 29. In six starts for SWB, King was 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA.
The job earned King a major league invitation to spring training in 2019, but that elbow injury kept him from pitching during the exhibition season. He did not debut until July 3 in the Gulf Coast League. He moved to Staten Island (short season-A) and pitched for Trenton and SWB before being elevated to the major leagues in September to take the suspended spot on Domingo German’s roster.
King’s major league debut on September 27 against the Rangers consisted of two innings in which he hit two hits and an unearned run.
In an age dominated by speed, King, 25, uses a fastball, slider, and shift effectively at 91 mph.
He orders on both sides of the plate. He doesn’t care about strikeouts, but he catches them, “said one scout about King, who went 3-1 with a 4.18 ERA in four Triple A starts last season.” He uses his plumb line to get into the hands of right-handed hitters. and left-handed. He throws at his strong points. “
While the 6-foot-3-inch, 210-pound King has started in the minors in the past three years, the former Boston College pitcher could help out the bullpen in a 2020 season that would be like no other.
Garcia, who is on the 40-man list, and Schmidt, who is not, would also be looking for a place on the list. Put Ben Heller (40 men) in the mix too.
At the time of the Marlins deal, the Yankees were looking for money for international slot machines as they prepared to chase Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who eventually signed with the Angels.
Although King has appeared in a major league game, the Marlins performed very well with Smith, a Yankees pick in round 14 in 2013. He went 10-11 with a 4.52 ERA in 28 starts in 2019 for the recreation club. Smith pitched in nine games (two starts) for the 2017 Yankees, with a 0-1 record with a 7.71 ERA.