Standout Year Lands Diamondbacks' Schmidt In The Majors
PHOENIX—Undrafted after a stellar college career, catcher Konrad Schmidt and his father, Skip, developed a mental approach with which to attack the rest of Schmidt's career.
"The theme is 'kick the door down.' When it all comes down to it, you can say you weren't given a fair shot, but if you get the opportunity and produce, it's going to happen," Schmidt said.
Consider the door almost off its hinges.
Schmidt was purchased by the parent Diamondbacks on Sept. 13, capping a stellar season with Double-A Mobile in which he emerged as one of the best catchers in the Southern League. Schmidt, 26, hit .315/.373/.490 in 394 at-bats, continuing his ascent that began when he signed before the 2007 draft as a fifth-year senior out of Nevada.
The 6-foot, 225-pound Schmidt had 30 doubles, 11 home runs and 65 RBIs, increasing his homer and RBI totals for the fourth consecutive season in his first stop at Double-A. He was third in the league in OPS (.863) and slugging percentage, and he led league catchers with 30 doubles and 193 total bases.
"I really started to refine my approach at the plate. I started to see some pitches that you don't see at the lower levels, like a right-on-right changeup, for example. I had to kind of refine my approach to where I wouldn't miss a pitch to hit. In order to do that, I had to have a more solid plan of when to expect that pitch," Schmidt said.
"It was not so much the physical part. I worked on that, of course. But the mental approach to each pitch . . . it's unbelievable, especially at the higher level, where the guys can execute more."
Schmidt, the 2005 Northern California JC player of the year at Santa Rosa (Calif.) JC, played at Arizona before transferring to Nevada, the alma mater of major leaguers Ryan Church, Joe Inglett, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Chad Qualls, Lyle Overbay among others.
"I was shocked I never got drafted. I was so bitter about it when I got in minor league baseball," Schmidt said. "When I sit back here now and look at the last three-and-a-half seasons, it's really been a great ride."
• First-year manager Rico Brogna led Mobile to the Southern League playoffs for the first time since 2004. The BayBears' 75 regular-season victories were the fourth-most in franchise history.
• The Diamondbacks acquired righthanded reliever Matt Gorgen as the player to be named in the trade deadline deal that sent Chad Qualls to the Rays. Gorgen, 23, went 3-2, 1.65 in 49 innings at Double-A Montgomery this year.