From 849th pick to Legendary MLB Debut: The Davis Schneider Story

Photo credit:© Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Veronica Chung
8 months ago
Before last Friday rolled around, no casual Blue Jays fans knew who Davis Schneider was.
All they knew was that he was hitting seventh in a struggling Blue Jays lineup and that this was his major league debut. Understandably, many fans were flippant about how this rookie was in the lineup against a seemingly invincible Boston Red Sox. How was this random short guy going to transform the listless Jays’ offence?
There was nothing special about Davis Schneider at all. The Blue Jays drafted him in 2017 in the 28th round out of New Jersey high school which had no track record for producing any successful professional baseball players. Besides, the 28th-round draft picks no longer exist in Major League Baseball. Think about how this could have drastically changed Schneider’s life if he lived in an alternate universe where the 28th-round picks got eliminated much earlier. 
Schneider’s baseball career before his major league debut has also been a rocky one. With the COVID-19 pandemic and inconsistent results setting him back for a long time, he didn’t get to a level above Rookie ball until he turned 22. From there, he needed to grind it out in all three minor league levels to prove himself and solidify himself as a valuable player. 
While the minor league system may have recognized his hard work and talent, the world still had no idea about who he is. There has always been consistent hype around Blue Jays’ top prospects like Addison Barger, Ricky Tiedemann and Yosver Zulueta, but Davis Schneider was never a part of this discussion. But that didn’t stop Schneider from getting his job done to the point where his production last month with the Buffalo Bisons blew everyone’s mind. 
Logically, Schneider forced the Jays to seriously consider him as the team attempted to get out of offensive funk on top of shortstop Bo Bichette’s injury. As wild as it was, the Jays knew that a fresh face could perhaps ignite something in this exhausted team. It was a gamble of the year, and it was either going to pay off big time or flop spectacularly. He fully understood the weight of this assignment when he showed up at Fenway Park.
As Schneider came for his first-ever major league at-bat, all Jays fans wanted was a successful single or maybe a double against the Boston Red Sox. Just one hit was enough to hold onto a sense of hope. As the Jays broadcasters announced how Schneider faced James Paxton previously in two separate minor league games, Schneider swung his bat and watched his ball fly. The ball flew way back until it landed on top of the green monster — it was a no-doubt home run for Davis Schneider.

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And then, something in the air for the Blue Jays changed. The Jays’ offence came roaring against the Boston Red Sox during the whole weekend series with a 7-3 win on Friday, a 5-4 win on Saturday and a 13-1 win on Sunday. Throughout this series, Davis Schneider went 9 for 13 with 2 home runs, 5 RBIs and three runs to tie Coaker Triplett (1938) for the most player’s first 3 career games since 1901. Schneider didn’t just complete his assignment – he crushed it with flying colours and injected life into a lethargic Jays’ lineup. He has made it very difficult for the Jays team to count him out of the lineup and made a name for himself while doing so. 
It’s unfair to say that Schneider was the saviour that lifted the Jays from the lacklustre stretch. It’s an unfair burden for a young rookie to carry and his numbers are bound to come down to earth at some point. After all, he’s only a human being like us. 
But what Schneider showed us can’t be taken away. By performing out of his mind, he proved that nothing is impossible. Not too long ago, he was a nobody but became somebody by working towards his dream despite all the obstacles. The best part was that Schneider was never on the script in the beginning for the Jays, he wasn’t supposed to be a part of this story. But then, he rewrote the Jays’ narrative with his grit and soul.
Schneider was the ultimate surprise that his team and fans needed. They needed confirmation that this team had fire left in them, and he delivered just that. He might have started as an 849th draft pick no one cared about, but he woke up the Jays with his unbelievable performance.
The Davis Schneider story doesn’t just end here — it’s only the beginning of his extraordinary underdog tale. 


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