Casey Schmitt, 3B
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2020, 2nd Round
LAST LEVEL: Triple-A
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #3 Overall, #1 Third Baseman
2022 Performance: It’s possible that Casey Schmitt had the best season of any Giants prospect in 2022. Schmitt got off to the hot start that he missed in 2021, hitting .315/.386/.537 in High-A Eugene over the first two months of the season. Although he cooled off a bit in June and July, he got promoted to Double-A in early August, and nearly immediately went on a hot run that never ended. Over 29 games in Richmond’s playoff stretch, he hit .342/.378/.517 with three home runs, and after the Eastern League playoffs ended, he got a cameo in Triple-A where he was 5-for-15 with a double and a home run. He had an unsustainable .432 BABIP while with Richmond and was .400 on balls in play at Sacramento, but his improvements both in batting average, and power, with 21 home runs on the year, were huge.
It was a starmaking turn in almost every facets of the game. Schmitt continued to play like the strong defensive third base prospect he was, but when Marco Luciano went down with injury, Schmitt moved over and played at shortstop just as well. While Schmitt did und up with 15 errors on the season, his reflexes and strong arm showed that he has the ability to be an elite defender at third base.
The only aspect of Schmitt that wasn’t strong was speed, but that’s not what you expect out of a third baseman. Schmitt only attempted five steals on the season, and was successful three times. He doesn’t have the speed to be a real threat on the basepaths, but he might be able to pick some spots.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Any discussion of Schmitt starts with his defense. He has great reflexes and soft hands, and can make the excellent plays. While he doesn’t have speed on the basepaths, he has great range thanks to strong fundamentals, and an arm that threw 96 MPH in college, and he can make throws that are accurate as well as strong, though he could still improve on his accuracy while throwing on the run. One scout compared him defensively to 10-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado.
Schmitt’s offense has been a touch more of a question, especially after a rocky first season that saw him playing through injuries, including a broken nose from a HBP, before it ended early with a wrist injury on another HBP. He was a bit streaky with the bat in 2022, doing better with batting average in the season’s first two months before hitting better for power as his batting average dropped in June and July. He has significant holes on the outer half of the plate, but pitchers struggled with exploiting it later in the season as he moved up levels.
His speed is below-average, but he makes good decisions on the basepaths.
2023 Outlook: Schmitt only spent a month in Double-A, but his performance there has probably earned him a ticket up to Triple-A to start the 2023 season. It would be difficult to repeat this level of performance, and he would be smart not to chase it. The experienced pitchers in Schmitt will attack his hitting weaknesses, and Schmitt’s main job will be to limit it as much as possible.
Future Profile: With just two minor league seasons as evidence, it’s hard to predict what Schmitt could be. He could become a star third baseman, and occasional All-Star. Or he could be a third baseman who’s known for his defense, but is just an average hitter. Or he could land somewhere in the middle. The best bet? He’ll be a third base version of Brandon Belt.