Happy weekend, San Francisco Giants fans. It’s the last weekend without Giants baseball in it for a looooong time. And thankfully so.
As Spring Training winds down, it’s time to put a bow on some preseason things. And the Giants did that on Friday when they announced that Casey Schmitt, widely considered one of the team’s five best prospects, was given the Barney Nugent Award.
The award is given annually to a player in their first big league camp who embodies the spirit of the organization. Schmitt seemed like a lock.
Congratulations to Casey Schmitt on being named the 2023 Barney Nugent Award winner!— SFGiants (@SFGiants) March 24, 2023
The Barney Nugent Award is given in recognition of the player in his first big league camp whose performance and dedication in Spring Training best exemplifies the #SFGiants spirit. pic.twitter.com/GI7MQDvGeY
Schmitt has opened eyes with his play this spring. A second-round pick in 2020 who had a breakout year in 2022, the righty is viewed as the team’s best defensive infield prospect since Brandon Crawford, and won the Minor League Gold Glove Award last year at third base. While third is his specialty, he started playing some shortstop last year, and was so impressive that Farhan Zaidi said during a Giants broadcast on Thursday that Schmitt would see time at both positions in AAA and the Majors.
His glove has earned the accolades, but Schmitt had a phenomenal offensive season a year ago, and kept that up in his first Spring Training, as he’s hit a blistering 16-42 with two home runs, two triples, two doubles, and a walk. He’s also become a favorite inside the clubhouse, as detailed by The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.
Though Schmitt has played just 29 games in AA and four games in AAA, Zaidi expressed confidence that the 24 year old will be in the Majors very soon. And how exciting that will be.