The New York Yankees are in contention for having the best and deepest pitching staff in baseball.
Their starters and relievers are among the most talented in the game.
They have a couple of hurlers who may not have as much fame as some of the current members of their staff, but carry significant breakout potential.
1. Clarke Schmidt
Clarke Schmidt didn’t have a good showing in the 2022 postseason, but make no mistake: he is really, really talented.
Perhaps more importantly, he will have an opportunity to show the world what he can do as a starter: Frankie Montas won’t be ready in time to start the season and Schmidt will fight for the fifth starter job with Domingo German.
If Schmidt wins, look out: his fastball is average, but his secondaries are fantastic and any modest improvement to his four-seamer or sinker could represent a breakout.
In 2022, he split time as a starter and as a reliever and posted a solid 3.12 ERA in 57.2 innings.
He was a first-round pick for a reason, and has the potential to surprise a few people.
Serious question, how many pitchers on the Pirates man better than Clarke Schmidt? Mitch Keller had a breakout year, but even that’s debateable. Clarke had a 3.12 ERA in 57.2 last year. That’s enough of a sample size to say he’d be at worst, a good reliever https://t.co/WT9Je3Jyo8
— Hal Steinbrenner’s Checkbook Resurgence Bandwagon (@HalcheckbookRBW) December 22, 2022
2. Matt Krook
Matt Krook is not a household name in a vast Yankees pitching system.
However, he has a big arm, is left-handed, and strikes out more than a batter per inning on average.
His control is suspect, but if he refines it even a little, he could carve out a role in MLB.
Krook had a 4.09 ERA in 138.2 frames in Triple-A last season, but was much better in 2021 with a 3.17 mark at the same level.
If the Yankees plug him in a multi-inning relief role and help him throw strikes more consistently, he could become quite a weapon.
He doesn’t quite have Michael King‘s command, but he could, theoretically, make a similar impact in 2023.NEXT: Yankees Reveal Some Notable 2023 Spring Training Invites