SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
14. Casey Schmitt, 3B
Highest Level: Low-A (San Jose)
Acquired: Draft (2020)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
Casey Schmitt is one of the most intriguing prospects in the SF Giants organization. A second-round pick in last year’s draft, Schmitt has avoided strikeouts throughout his career, might already be a 60-grade defender at the hot corner, and has the potential to hit for power. However, he’s never been able to put it together into one breakout campaign.
Despite turning 22 in March of this year, the Giants were conservative with Schmitt’s assignment, sending him to Low-A. His season is likely over after he was hit by a pitch on the hand in early August, and he finished the year hitting an underwhelming .247/.318/.406 with a 7.9% walk rate and 15.7% strikeout rate. However, an abysmal .094 BABIP in May really held down his overall numbers. Since June 1st, Schmitt posted a much more respectable .292/.362/.454 line with 13 doubles and eight home runs in 207 plate appearances.
Schmitt was a two-way contributor at San Diego State, where he served as an everyday third baseman and high-leverage bullpen arm with a low-90s fastball and nasty splitter. His pitching prowess will be easy fodder for broadcasts down the line, but it also explains why most evaluators I spoke with weren’t too worried about his unexceptional performance at Low-A. The expectation is his bat will progress as he gets to focus on it.
Despite his elite glove, Schmitt is already a below-average runner and probably will not have much defensive versatility. That will put a lot of pressure on his offensive production.
His background as a pitcher could create some exciting fallback opportunities for Schmitt if his bat doesn’t quite justify a starting spot. A creative team might give him a shot to become a two-way player that might be able to generate 1-2 WAR throwing 35 innings and taking 200 plate appearances a season. However, the Giants clearly have higher hopes for him at this point.
Schmitt’s lack of power doesn’t come from an inability to elevate. Only 34.1% of his balls in play this year were on the ground. Instead, Schmitt tends to get a bit too lofty in his swing, hitting an infield pop-up on nearly 20% of his balls in play. One evaluator I spoke with was confident that he will eventually hit for power with time, but I lean towards Schmitt ending up more of a gap hitter, hitting .270 with 25 doubles and 10-15 home runs alongside elite defense if he develops into an everyday player.