Picking at No. 16 in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, the New York Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt out of the University of South Carolina.
Schmidt is the third college pitcher to go tonight, and the eighth college junior to hear his name called. He’s a bit of an injury risk after struggling with an oblique injury all season, and blowing out his elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery in April.
He profiles as a starter if his recovery goes well. Scouts report that his fastball typically sits between 92 and 94 mph, but can jump to 96 when needed. He sports a slider and curveball that will be plus pitches with some development. A scouting report provided by MLB.com described his change-up as “decent”.
The last player drafted at No. 16 overall by the Yankees is also dealing with elbow surgery, as 2015 first-round pick James Kaprielian also had Tommy John in April. An elbow injury limited him to just three games in 2016, and he threw two innings in major league spring training this year before deciding to go under the knife.
The Yankees have a busy night tonight, as they pick at No. 54 and play the series opener with the Los Angeles Angels.