In just nine games as a Giant, Casey Schmitt has already thrown more assists over 91 mph than any infielder this season.
His hottest heater ended the second inning of Wednesday’s series sweep of the Phillies, when Schmitt shuffled into a 94.1 mph throw to LaMonte Wade Jr. at first to retire Alec Bohm.
Asked postgame about the throw, which tracked as the fastest assist in MLB so far this season, Schmitt wasn’t sure which one in particular set the new standard. They’re all just normal for him.
“I honestly don’t remember which one it was, to be honest with you,” Schmitt said. “Which one was it?”
Eye-popping defensive plays are nothing new for Schmitt, the Giants’ rookie sensation. The Minor League Gold Glover at third base has drawn comparisons to platinum glove winners Nolan Arenado and Matt Chapman. The 24-year-old has also already held strong at second base and shortstop in his first nine MLB games.
Schmitt’s arm strength, too, shouldn’t be a revelation. He served as closer for San Diego State in college and also pitched in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League as an amateur. He’s always worked on his arm with long toss and took care of it for pitching, which also helped his velocity, he said.
His days on the mound are over — “It was fun in college and high school and everything, but I’m kind of glad that side of me has been put to the side,” Schmitt said — but his cannon of a right arm remains loaded.
Schmitt’s arm is so powerful, a couple of his throws have actually hurt Wade’s hand, the first baseman told KNBR.com Tuesday.
“His throws are hard,” Wade, who’s been on the receiving end of Schmitt’s darts, said. “I think they’re all 94. He’s got a great arm, and he shows it off. He uses it well.”
In the first inning, Schmitt made a diving stop to rob Nick Castellanos of a base hit. He speared the ball that left Castellanos’ bat at 102.9 mph with an expected batting average of .690.
To beat Castellanos, Schmitt rose to his feet and fired a 91.1 mph strike to first.
“J.D. (Davis) has a great arm, too,” Wade said. “He throws it over there. Craw gets it over there good, too. Schmitty’s is definitely different. It’s hard and heavy.”
Wade said he’s had to get his glove re-strung after a couple Schmitt throws this season, something that’s never happened to him before.
“That’s okay,” Wade said. “As long as he’s making the outs, I’ll catch them.”
Since the tracking era began, no Giant infielder has thrown a ball harder than Schmitt did on Wednesday.
In the Giants’ 7-4 win in the series finale against the Phillies, Schmitt went 1-for-4 at the plate with a two-run single in the first inning. He’s hitting .417 with a 1.111 OPS since debuting, sparking a Giants team in need of athleticism and youth.
When shown the particular throw that sits atop the current Statcast leaderboard, Schmitt chuckled in his locker.
“Oh shit,” Schmitt said with a laugh. “Yeah, I don’t know. I just got it and tried to make a good throw.”