TAMPA – In an offseason that saw a stagnant free agent class struggle to find work, the Yankees remained very active in the trade market. As the November 40 man roster deadline crept close, the Yankees had some very tough decisions to make regarding the roster. In an under the radar move the team sent first baseman Garrett Cooper and left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith to the Marlins for right-handed pitcher Mike King and international bonus pool money.
King was a 12th-round draft pick by Miami out of Boston College in 2016 and made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast league that same year. After working out of the bullpen for the 2016 season, King became a full-time starter in 2017 for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 149 innings pitched King was 11-9 with a 3.14 to go along with 106 strikeouts. Even with a successful season under his belt King was still a relative unknown coming over to the organization.
Tarpons manager Pat Osborn admittedly said, “I didn’t know much about him, but I liked what I saw during spring.”
After a successful year in Low-A King earned himself a promotion to Class A Advanced in Tampa. In five starts for the Tarpons, King is 1-2 with 32 strikeouts nine walks and 3.02 era. King has made quite an impression on his coaching staff.
Manager Pat Osborn said “[he] maintains his composure and continues to compete. Which says a lot about his makeup and character”
Pitching coach Jose Rosado added “[he’s] a smart kid, hard worker and wants to win”
King is a part of a talented starting rotation for the Tarpons and has done his part not to be overlooked. King’s repertoire includes a four and two-seam fastball, slider and changeup that is “developing nicely” according to Rosado.
His fastball sits in the low 90’s topping out at 96, the slider 85-88 and changeup at 84-86 are all apart of a mix that Osborn has been impressed with stating King shows “pitchability, throws strikes and commands the ball well.”
While King has only made a handful of starts for the Tarpons when asked what a successful season for King would look like Rosado simply said, “continuing to improve every time he’s on the mound.” If King can refine his game and continue to take advantage of his opportunities a promotion to Double-A will surely be in his future.