Giants infielder Casey Schmitt's stellar range was a product of hard work during a tumultuous time.
Speaking with KNBR's Bill Laskey on Saturday, Schmitt described how working with his father during the coronavirus pandemic helped him improve his fielding.
"There was a thing during COVID me and my Dad did," Schmitt told Laskey. "I honestly think it really helped me a lot with my dives, diving for the ball."
Schmitt's father would set up a pitching machine and fire baseballs at the side of his house that was covered with turf. It aided Schmitt's instincts fielding ground balls -- a needed quality for the infielder as he mans the hot corner at third base.
"I would dive about 50 times per day, each side, trying to get hops and stuff. I really think that helped me a lot," Schmitt said.
The 24-year-old's defensive prowess already is standing out. Schmitt has been compared to former Oakland Athletics star Matt Chapman, St. Louis Cardinals star Nolan Arenado and even former Giants third baseman Evan Longoria.
Schmitt has been showcasing his skills with the bat in spring training as well, smashing two home runs with seven RBI while slashing .441/.441/.794 with a 1.235 OPS.
San Francisco Giants
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While Schmitt is dazzling Giants fans with his glove in spring training, he likely will start the 2023 MLB season in Triple-A, along with Kyle Harrison, another highly touted prospect.
However, if Schmitt is able to keep up his defensive and offensive production once the season starts, fans in San Francisco are hopeful they will see the youngster at third sooner rather than later.