Dodger Prospect Steve Schmoll

41st in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Position- Relief Pitcher
Residence-Rockville, Md.
DOB- Feb. 4, 1980
B/T- R-R
04 Club(s)- Vero Beach (high A); Jacksonville (AA)

Steve Schmoll is an almost-self-taught pitcher who could become quite a success story. In 2003 he pitched in rookie ball; by the end of 2004 he was up in AA. And this is a player who was cut from his college team when he first tried to make it as a walk-on.
That was at the University of Maryland when he was a position player. Rather than give the game up, he went to his home in near-by Rockville, built a mound in his backyard and taught himself to pitch. What's most important, he developed a sidearm, almost submarine, motion that bedevils righthanded hitters. Not only did he make the Terps team, he became their ace closer.
In 2003 as a fifth-year senior, he didn't have to go through the draft. There was spirited bidding for his services which Dodger scout Clair Rierson won. Sent to Ogden (Pioneer), he went 3-1, 3.68 with seven saves. This past season, he began with Vero Beach There he was 3-3, 1.80 with 10 saves. Pushed up to Jacksonville, he saved two more games with a 1.83 ERA. He then excelled in the Arizona Fall League (1-0, 1.42, 7 saves) dominating some of the top prospects in the game.
Schmoll's fast ball reaches 95 and he compliments that with a quick-bending slider. What's more, he has good command, something that people who throw from the angle he does often never quite acquire. He should open the season with Las Vegas and doesn't appear that far from major league status.