On Monday, the Yankees made a trade with the Miami Marlins to clear two roster spots on the 40-man roster. They sent first baseman Garrett Cooper and left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith to Marlins in exchange for minor league pitcher Mike King and an additional $250,000 in international slot money.
But precisely who is Michael King, the prospect they got in return. King, 22, was originally drafted by Miami in the 12th round of the 2016 draft out of Boston College. He signed for a $100,000 signing bonus. At the time he pitched mostly in the high 80s, topping out at 92. In college, he had an 11-11 record with a 3.14 ERA over 46 games, 27 starts, in three seasons. He struck out 151 batters in 209 innings pitched in college.
After signing, he made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Marlins where he was 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in four games. He struck out three batters in five innings of work. He then went to pitch for the Batavia Muckdogs where he was 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 games, one start, throwing 21 1/3 innings. He finished his 2016 season with the Greensboro Grasshoppers where he pitched just 4 1/3 innings of relief in one game.
King returned to the Grasshoppers for the 2017 season, this time as a full-time starter. He was 11-9 with a 3.14 ERA, and 106 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched. He pitched two complete games for Greensboro and earned South Atlantic League pitcher of the week honors on April 16, 2017.
King has a low-90s fastball, that is mostly around 92-94 miles per hour but has touched as high as 96 on the radar gun. It has good sinking action thus inducing a lot of ground balls. He compliments his fastball with an above average slider and a developing changeup.