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Casey Schmitt’s glove earns glowing praise from Brandon Crawford



© Allan Henry | 2023 Feb 25

MESA, Ariz. — In his Cactus League debut, third base prospect Casey Schmitt made quite an impression.

In the bottom of the first inning, he charged a chopper, fielded the ball and slung it to second base in one motion to initiate a 5-4-3 double play. The next frame, he dove behind the third base bag, popped up and fired across the diamond for a web gem play.

Then in the fourth, Schmitt turned on a 3-1 sinker for a two-run blast.

Although he also misplayed a slow-roller and committed an error, the debut showed the type of potential Schmitt — one of San Francisco’s most intriguing prospects — possesses.

The third baseman’s glove and arm strength in particular, though, inspired quite the reaction from veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford.

“He looks different than a lot of infielders I’ve played with in the past,” Crawford said Saturday. “You can see that just when he’s taking grounders in practice, stuff like that. He moves a bit different, his hands just always seem to be in the right spot. Nothing against the infielders I’ve played with before. He just seems like he’s on another level.”

Schmitt, who won a MiLB Gold Glove award last year, is expected to start in Triple-A. The former San Diego State closer isn’t regarded externally as one of the game’s top prospects, but his minor league performance stands out.

Last year across three levels, the 23-year-old hit .293 and 21 home runs.

“I think if he had more draft pedigree going into that draft in 2022, he’s on those Top 100 lists,” farm director Kyle Haines told KNBR recently. “But since he’s more of an emergence in the last year, the people with already the hype next to their name tend to pass those types of players.” 

That message, unsurprisingly, has reached the Major Leagues.

“When Kyle Haines says this is a guy who should be flashing on our radar, and then you see it in person, that’s fun,” manager Gabe Kapler said Friday. “We’re talking about Casey Schmitt in a very different way than we were at this time last year. He’s very balanced, very confident.”