A four-year starter for the Allatoona baseball team, he played a key role in the growth of the program from a nine-win season in 2009 to back-to-back state quarterfinal appearances in 2011 and ’12.
In his time as a Buccaneer, Schmidt saw action as a center fielder, shortstop and pitcher, and, along the way, coach Keith Hansen developed a colorful nickname for his senior leader.
“I called him ‘Hollywood,’” Hansen said. “He’s an athlete. He came up playing multiple sports and makes plays on the field other kids can’t make, and he makes it look easy. He works hard at everything he does and has everything you could ever look for in a player.”
Schmidt’s offensive numbers are solid. He ended the season batting .366 with five home runs and 27 RBIs. He also totaled 35 runs scored, 15 stolen bases and led the Buccaneers with 14 doubles and two triples.
However, it was Schmidt’s contributions on the mound where he really shined, leading him to being named the 2012 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Baseball Pitcher of the Year.
Schmidt was Allatoona’s No. 1 pitcher, helping guide the team to a 23-10 record and another playoff appearance. Facing the best teams on the Buccaneers’ schedule, Schmidt had a 5-5 record against ranked opponents, struck out 84 batters in 54 innings pitched and owned a 2.10 ERA. He also held opponents to a .181 average.
“I was with my dad when he received a text from coach about me being named pitcher of the year,” Schmidt said of the award. “When Dad told me, I freaked out. I’ve wanted to be pitcher of the year since I got here. I was hoping I’d get it, so to be recognized is a true honor.”
Schmidt considered the cutter his best pitch because “it works like a fastball, but breaks off at the last second.”
“It keeps guys off balance,” he added.
Schmidt also said that he and his personal pitching coach worked hard during the offseason to help him get better. He also received aid from teammates.
“He’s been a leader for us for four years,” Hansen said. “He did everything he could for us. He was our leadoff guy or our No. 3 hitter in the lineup. He has a great attitude and never let his notoriety get to his head. He was the heart and soul of our team.”
Allatoona and its 6-foot-2, 175-pound ace, came into the season with a lot of hype after reaching last year’s quarterfinals. Though the Buccaneers suffered through some adversity along the way, they still advanced through the playoffs.
“I became more of a smarter pitcher and helped the team win,” Schmidt said. “Now, I go through a game and I’m understanding how to hit my spots and understand hitters better. That’s helped, too.”
Major league scouts have been interested in Schmidt, who was a member of the Under-18 USA Baseball national team that participated in the Pan-Am 18U Championships in Colombia. Many mock drafts have Schmidt being selected in the early rounds — perhaps as soon as Monday, the draft’s opening day.
Regardless of where Schmidt is drafted, he knows he has the security blanket of a scholarship to play at Clemson next year.
“I’m excited,” Schmidt said. “I think it will be a blast to go to Clemson. They have a great campus, and it’s a made-for-college town. I’d be honored to play there, but I’ll also have to look at my draft options.”