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WATCH: Davis Schneider makes sensational leaping grab in left field versus Pirates

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Photo credit:Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
2 months ago
On a rainy Thursday night in Bradenton, Fla., Davis Schneider showed why he’ll likely be playing more than just second base this season.
The 25-year-old, appearing in his 15th Grapefruit League game of the spring, was pencilled into the Toronto Blue Jays starting lineup in left field as the club visited the Pittsburgh Pirates – a game started by top pitching prospect Ricky Tiedemann. But the explosive left-hander wasn’t the only one that impressed under the lights.
Shortly after Tiedemann departed in the fourth inning, replaced by non-roster invitee Paolo Espino, Schneider made a highlight-reel diving grab in left to steal a hit from Pirates outfielder Jack Suwinski, whose 102.7-m.p.h. line drive produced a .630 xAVG.
Schneider, a natural infielder, underran the ball initially on his route but closed the gap quickly before reaching over his shoulder to record the out on a play that should be an early-season favourite for catch of the year.
At the plate, the right-handed hitter went 1-for-3 with a single and two flyouts in Toronto’s 3-2 victory. He entered Thursday’s affair with six hits, including two home runs, across 35 at-bats.
With the Blue Jays unlikely to break camp with a traditional fourth outfielder, Schneider is expected to spend time in the outfield this season when his club faces a left-handed starter, forcing Daulton Varsho or Kevin Kiermaier to the bench. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ernie Clement – who started in left field on Wednesday – will also likely share duties with Schneider in those matchups.
More often than not, though, the 28th-round selection from 2017 will primarily be deployed up the middle on the right side of the infield.
Last season’s rookie sensation broke into the majors during a memorable weekend series at Fenway Park, where he homered in his first big-league plate appearance off Boston Red Sox hurler and B.C. native James Paxton. He went 9-for-13 in that series, posting two bombs and five RBIs while reaching base safely 11 times.
After leading Triple-A Buffalo in home runs (21), Schneider blasted eight more in 35 games with the Blue Jays to conclude the regular season, slashing .276/.404/.603 with a 176 wRC+, worth 2.0 fWAR.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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