The sci-fi giants’ most underrated prospect: Casey Schmitt

Alright boys and girls, buckle up, cause it’s gonna be fun. I’ll start with a statement: I think Casey Schmitt is the San Francisco Giants’ most underrated prospect.

I know that sounds pretty bold, but I’ve stood by that statement ever since Schmitt was drafted by the Giants in the second round (their first second-round pick) of the 2020 MLB Draft and signed for $1.15 million. , which is about $350,000 below the value of the location. I’ll get to that in a second, but why I think Schmitt is underrated, you may ask. Well, let’s talk about their current ranking. FanGraphs and Baseball America are pretty grounded in listing Schmitt as their number 13 and number 11 Giants prospect, respectively. Good friend and fellow Giants potential writer Roger Munter and MLB Pipeline are also quite based in having him at number 13. On the other hand, Melissa Lockard of The Athletic and other friends and potential Giants writers Marc Delucchi and Kevin Cunningham has Schmitt at 19, 18 and 24 respectively. That’s consistent with the McCovey Chronicles community, which also counts it at number 24. That’s what makes lead scoring great. There will be differences of opinion.

Overall, all of those rankings averaged Schmitt the number 15 prospect in the Giants organization, as compiled by Kevin. I originally had Schmitt ranked number 9 but after only a week of games I’ve already pushed him as my number 6 prospect in the Giants organization. So why am I so high on Schmitt? What do I see of him that really buttered my croissant? I will discuss all this with you.

Let’s talk about his most well-known trait first: his defense. Schmitt’s defense has been labeled one of the best, if not the best in the organization. In fact, he was considered by MLB Pipeline the best defensive third base prospect in all of baseball when they named him to their All-Defense First Team. His movement in space is so refined, his glove and footwork are solid, and his ability to throw a precise and powerful seed (up to 96 MPH with his fastball on the mound when pitching for the ‘San Diego State) from all platforms and the arm angles are sometimes so breathtaking that I’ve compared his defensive play in the hot corner to Patrick Mahomes. These defensive tools are all enhanced by his impressive situational awareness.

These defensive tools are why Schmitt has been compared to current Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman. Chapman is a multi-time Platinum Glove award winner and Fielding Bible is as loyal as they come in the sport and having those comps for Schmitt might be a bit too much from my conservative perspective.

However, let’s now talk about why Schmitt is ranked so highly. It all comes down to player value. Let’s talk about WAR or Wins Above Replacement with Schmitt. Matt Chapman last season has a 1.3 defensive WAR but his max defensive WAR is 3.3 in 2019. Schmitt is already at a point where his defense already deserves a lot of respect, but let’s just say he probably won’t reach only half of Chapman’s defensive WAR peak. or a similar WAR last season. Already thinking that Schmitt will have a floor of around 1.3 WAR is already good enough to become a 45 PV (or current value) player based on that defense alone. This is a very high floor considering that if Schmitt accumulates zero WAR on offense, he will always return a positive value as a big leaguer because of his defense. That will put him around the total value of Josh Harrison or Matt Duffy. For Schmitt, it’s just his defense. As a position player prospect, Schmitt already has an advantage in terms of grounding compared to pitching prospects, as pitchers are much more volatile in terms of injury risk compared to position players and having a baseline. that safe for a positional player deserves a lot of love and respect.

We talk a lot about defense and value, but it will be offensive potential that will determine whether he’s a field defenseman or an everyday big-league third baseman with the potential to get even better. We looked at the scenario where Schmitt will still be a 45 PV/FV (or future value) prospect even though he won’t return any offensive WAR. But is there more to the tank that we haven’t seen yet?

Let’s take a look at Schmitt’s numbers last season with San Jose. Schmitt posted a .247/.318/.406 triple slash line with 14 doubles, one triple, eight homers, .255 BABIP, 7.9% walk rate and 15 strikeout rate .7%. However, Schmitt has been atrocious in the first month of the season, so if we take that out of the equation, he has a .292/.362/.454 triple slash line with 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs, .331 BABIP , a 7.7% walk rate and a 16% strikeout rate. You saw that even though we removed his atrocious May, his peripherals (walk rate and takedown rate) are still very consistent.

Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers. I especially follow a rule of thumb for hitting leads: If you can hit flyballs at a high pace while having a high walking pace and low kicking pace, you’re in good shape. It is known that at the start of the 2021 season, Giants coaches want Schmitt to hit more fly balls in hopes of hitting more home runs because he has the raw power to do damage with his bat. As a result, Schmitt added some loft to his swing path.

It’s time to dig. Of all the Giants prospects ages 25 and under with over 100 at-bats last season, Schmitt has the third-highest flyball rate at 50.7% while also having the fourth-lowest strike rate at 9.1% (per FanGraphs).

For your information, swing hit rate is the number of times a hitter swings and misses per number of pitches thrown, while smell rate is the number of times a hitter swings and misses per number of pitches . If a pitcher throws 100 pitches, a batter swings on 50 of those pitches but misses 25 of those pitches. The batter has a swing hit rate of 25% and a smell rate of 50%.

Casey Schmitt has a better flyball rate than known power mashers Alex Canario, Sean Roby, Marcio Luciano and Jairo Pomares while having a lower strike rate than known contact hitters Luis Matos, Diego Rincones and Brett Auerbach. It’s at this point that we have to love Schmitt’s ability to connect with baseball. He is just entering his first year of exclusive hitting and having the ability to swing and miss less than Luis Matos while implementing a steeper swing path and getting him to hit more flyballs is an impressive feat. . Add to the fact that he kept his walk rate to be respectable is another feat in itself.

So I can understand that you’re not a Schmitt fan based on the surface level numbers, but we saw that the underlying Schmitt numbers told us there was still room for potential towards the 2022 season. Where is that potential, you might be wondering? Well, let’s look no further than the swing itself. It’s been known from his days as a college prospect that Schmitt doesn’t incorporate his legs into his swing very well and he wore it in the 2021 season where he slides more into the batter’s box instead of having that base strong and sturdy where it can efficiently load and transfer energy from its constructed frame to the point of contact. Solve that bottom half issue and we can unlock Schmitt’s attacking potential.

Oh man. Based on the video comparison above, you can see that Schmitt is integrating his legs better into his swing this season with the Eugene Emeralds where he’s more crouched and crouched compared to his days as the San Jose giant where he was even taller with his legs during his leg kick. His bat path which resembled something of a Ferris wheel felt more direct to the ball due to his lower overall setup. And the results so far have been magnificent.

Through the first six games, Schmitt posted a .389/.476/.611 triple slash with a double, home run, .400 BABIP, 14.3% walk rate and 9 strikeout rate. .5%. Those underlying statistics mentioned earlier? He has a better flyball rate (50%) than known power mashers David Villar, Sean Roby, Jairo Pomares, and Marco Luciano (ninth highest overall in the system among prospects 25 or younger) while also having a better swing rate (6.8%) than known contact hitters Adrian Sugastey, Luis Matos and Brett Auerbach (third lowest in the system).

It’s only a matter of time and a crucial adjustment for Schmitt to unleash his attacking potential. As a result, we could see a Casey Schmitt breakout in 2022. It’s his second full season playing exclusively as a position player and we’re seeing a massive leap for him. It’s like when the Giants are in the second year of the Gabe Kapler era where they were a near playoff team in their freshman year in 2020 against a team with the highest winning percentage in all of baseball over of the second year of Kapler’s tenure as captain of The Boat. There will definitely be a regression for Schmitt as we know a .400 BABIP is highly unsustainable, but as long as his underlying numbers remain the same, Schmitt will definitely produce. Pair that with his top-notch defense? We could have a really good prospect ourselves here and one that could potentially be not just a big league squad player, but a potentially better, everyday third baseman.

I may have been one of the first on the Schmitt bandwagon, but I certainly won’t be the last as I welcome you all to the Casey Schmitt bandwagon.

Disclaimer: Statistics are all accurate as of April 16, 2022.