Why Williams believes watching Schmitt is like “looking in a mirror”

Why Williams believes watching Schmitt is like “looking in a mirror” originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Legendary Giants third baseman Matt Williams sees a bit of himself in up-and-coming infielder Casey Schmitt.

Williams -- now serving as the Giants' third-base coach on new manager Bob Melvin's staff -- explained during an interview with KNBR's Brian Murphy and Markus Boucher, why the beginning of Schmitt's San Francisco tenure is eerily similar to the early stages of his storied MLB career.

"When his name came up, my comment was, 'It's like looking in the mirror,' " Williams told Murphy and Boucher. "He's a strong kid, he's got all the tools you possibly could need, he's got the ability to actually move to shortstop and play, which was kind of my scenario.

"It's a question of him finding himself. Understanding himself. What he can and can't do. What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? Defensively, he's supremely confident. He's got a great skill set, his glove works well, he's got enough arm strength, all of those things.

"It's a question of him getting reps. So Bob [Melvin], I'm sure, will give him every opportunity this spring to get as many at-bats as he can. But it's a process, he's still a very young player and it's a process for him to find himself.

"He'll do that over time, and hopefully, the hitting coaches can help him find himself as quickly as possible -- once he does that, his natural talent will take over, and he will be just fine."

Schmitt revealed how he appreciated Williams making the comparison to himself, detailing the benefits of having the ability to work hands-on with the Hall of Famer during spring training.

"Yeah, he's told me he's seen himself in me, so that's really cool to get that comparison," Schmitt told Murphy and Boucher. "I've just been working with him, out there on the field, during spring training get a chance to talk to him and talk through some stuff.

"The adjustment period -- there was an adjustment period last year and I feel really confident with where I'm at."

Williams was a five-time All-Star during his 17-year career, including 10 seasons with the Giants.

However, the first three seasons of Williams' MLB career included struggles at the plate, as he posted a .198 batting average in 693 at-bats from 1987 to 1989 before a breakout season in 1990 -- where he earned his first All-Star nod.

Schmitt faced a similar speed bump during his rookie campaign in the 2023 MLB season, posting a .206 batting average in 253 at-bats for the Giants.

Despite the early struggles at the plate, Schmitt -- like Williams -- flashed an incredible amount of talent with his glove, which might be the ticket to buying the time required to adjust to hitting major league pitching.

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