River Cats Spring Training Update, Vol. 2
Giants skipper, Gabe Kapler had his daily media availability on Saturday morning at Scottsdale Stadium before the game. Kapler was hit with the usual big questions about the offseason signings of stars like Mitch Haniger and Ross Stripling. However, 2022 River Cats third basemen and Minor League Gold Glove winner,
Giants skipper, Gabe Kapler had his daily media availability on Saturday morning at Scottsdale Stadium before the game. Kapler was hit with the usual big questions about the offseason signings of stars like Mitch Haniger and Ross Stripling. However, 2022 River Cats third basemen and Minor League Gold Glove winner, Casey Schmitt, was another major topic of conversation.
When asked about his prospect’s defensive prowess he had this to say, “I think the word elite gets thrown around a lot. He's certainly got all the tools and characteristics to be a great defensive third baseman at the Major League level. You only know when that player is at the Major League level how good he is going to be. I think we all believe that he can be a great defensive third baseman. He just doesn’t have as many reps at shortstop, but I don’t see why he can’t be a great shortstop as well”.
So far this spring, Schmitt has not seen limited action at shortstop, but has lived up to the hype at the hot corner. Schmitt has not made an error since his first appearance and has shown off his impressive range.
On the offensive side of the ball, Schmitt has been equally as impressive hitting at a .389 clip with four RBIs and 1.111 OPS. However, a major shift in Schmitt’s game is his ability to cut down on the strikeouts. After striking out at a 25% rate last season, this spring he has cut that number down to 11% against superior pitching.
2022 River Cats Tristan Beck, Will Wilson, and Isan Diaz were also on hand for media availability and discussed what they have been working on improving in the upcoming season.
Beck spent a majority of his last season in Sacramento where he went 5-8 with a 5.64 ERA in 19 starts. When asked about his primary goals this offseason he said, “The biggest offseason focus for me this year was just gaining a little bit of weight, getting in the weight room pretty hard and starting to see some pretty good results”.
The results have proven positive during Spring Training as he has started two games and pitched in a third while striking out seven through seven innings of work.
Wilson and Diaz both ended their 2022 Sacramento season on the injury list. When asked about their offseason goals, both centered around staying away from that this season.
“The most important thing is staying healthy but obviously trying to stay consistent with the same mindset and approach this year and match or do better than we did last year”, Diaz said.
The mindset Diaz had last season in Sacramento made him a fan favorite, launching 23 home runs while maintaining an OBP of .377 in 83 games for the River Cats. Wilson on the other hand only got to play in ten games for the River Cats due to injuries.
On what he is trying to work on in 2023, Wilson said, “Staying healthy and staying on the field and offensively cutting down on the punchouts and defensively just continuing to improve”.