Casey Schmitt hopes to take advantage of offseason experience in 2020


File photo

Then-sophomore pitcher Casey Schmitt pitches in the Aztecs’ 5-4 victory over Air Force on April 20, 2019 at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

by Daniel Guerrero, Senior Staff Writer

Junior third baseman and pitcher Casey Schmitt has earned praise heading into the start of the San Diego State baseball season.

Schmitt was named to three second-team all-American teams by D1, and Collegiate Baseball – also one third-team all-American recognition by Baseball America.

Despite the recognition as a second team all-American, Schmitt’s focuses on the team’s success.

Schmitt said he appreciates the honors but ultimately cares about the results on the field.

“That’s cool and all, but I’m just kind of worried about winning ball games,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt, who was named second-team all-Mountain West in 2019, finished last season with a .315 batting average, six home runs and 68 RBIs — all while going 3-3 on the mound with a 3.37 ERA and eight saves.

Following the 2019 season, Schmitt played in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Cotuit Kettleers. Schmitt went 2-0 on the mound with a 1.93 ERA in 22 innings and hit .250 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 44 games with the Kettleers.

He also helped the Kettleers win the 2019 Cape Cod Baseball League championship and earned himself playoff MVP honors in the process.

Schmitt said the offseason experience helped him progress around high-level competitors.

“I think it helped me a lot,” Schmitt said. “I had a lot of fun, I got to play with the best competition in the world.”

Aztecs head coach Mark Martinez said Schmitt has progressed over the offseason.

“(Schmitt) made a commitment to getting stronger going into last summer, and it paid off for him,” Martinez said. “He had a great summer at the Cape Cod league, and so he’s a guy that’s tremendously talented.”

Martinez has also seen Schmitt progress off the field as a more mature player and someone who can be a leader within the program.

“One thing that we tell all our players is that maturity is number one, which he’s starting to excel in,” Martinez said. “His last piece for us to really, really excel is to continue to grow as a leader and be a great program guy, and he’s learning how to do that right now and he’s doing a great job for us.”

Junior outfielder Matt Rudick has played with Schmitt since both were freshmen in 2018. He said having Schmitt on the team helps elevate the Aztecs.

“Casey Schmitt is a great player,” Rudick said. “He’s one of the best players in the country and building off that we can build as a team.”

In his collegiate career, Schmitt has also been named the 2018 Mountain West Tournament MVP in the Aztecs’ last MW championship — one in which they won at home — and a two-time freshman All-American from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

However, despite the individual accolades, Schmitt said his goal is to do whatever it takes for his team to win ball games in 2020.

After winning the Mountain West in 2018 and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, the Aztecs missed out on the tournament in 2019.

SDSU looks for different results in 2020.

“Just doing anything I can do to help win ball games,” Schmitt said. “So that’s kind of the key thing we got to do out here is just win.”