Who is Dylan Schneider?
A lot of people were left scratching their heads, asking that question during the baseball season.
Baseball Super Team
OF Cody Thomas, Sr., Colleyville Heritage: Thomas batted .474, with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs en route to first-team all-state and District 6-5A MVP honors.
OF Nick Woodall, Sr., Cleburne: Woodall was selected second team all-state after batting .472 in the regular season.
OF Anthony Lyons, Sr., Arlington Martin: Lyons batted .380 with 33 RBIs en route to first-team District 4-5A honors.
INF Sheldon Neuse, Sr., Keller Fossil Ridge: Neuse was named first-team all-state and District 3-5A co-MVP after batting .450 and winning seven games on the mound.
INF Kenny Hill, Sr., Southlake Carroll: The third baseman was selected first-team all-state and all-district after batting .421 in league play.
INF Dustin Williams, Sr., Weatherford: Williams won District 3-5A Offensive Player of the Year honors after batting .576 with four homers and 36 RBIs.
INF Slayton Vaughan, Sr., Azle: Vaughan batted .398, with nine doubles, a pair of triples, six home runs and 31 RBIs.
C Matt Waller, Sr., Arlington Martin: Waller was selected District 3-5A MVP for his stellar play behind the plate and for batting .404 in league play.
P Dylan Schneider, So., Cleburne: The Super Team Player of the Year and first-team all-state selection finished the regular season 11-0, with a sub-1.00 ERA and a no-hitter. He also drove in 20 runs and played third base.
P Tyler Alexander, Sr., Southlake Carroll: Alexander was selected first-team all-state and District 3-5A co-MVP after a 9-0 regular season.
P Zach Kornely, Sr., Grapevine: Kornely was selected first-team all-state and District-6-5A co-Pitcher of the Year.
OF Brock Riebe, Sr., Weatherford: Riebe was selected third-team all-state and first-team all-District 4-5A.
OF Hunter Hargrove, Sr., Mansfield: Hargrove was the District 7-5A MVP and a third-team all-state selection.
OF Sydney Daley, Sr., Hurst L.D. Bell: A rangy center fielder who had a knack for making big plays when his team needed it most.
INF Corey Pickens, Sr., Mansfield Summit: Pickens was selected second-team all-state and District 7-5A MVP.
INF Zach Files, Sr., Saginaw Boswell: Files was a second-team all-state selection at shortstop, Boswell’s top pitcher and the District 6-4A MVP.
INF Zac Michener, Sr., Kennedale: The District 6-3A MVP batted .420 with 27 RBIs, 17 stolen bases.
INF Trevor Hillhouse, Sr., Birdville: Hillhouse was named District 6-4A Offensive MVP after batting .429 with 34 RBIs.
C Justin Freeman, Sr., Birdville: Freeman batted .376, drove in 21 runs and was a District 6-4A first-team selection.
P Turner Larkins, Jr., Arlington Martin: Larkins finished the regular season with an 8-0 record, 81 strikeouts and a 1.35 ERA.
P Tyler Fowler, So., Cleburne: Fowler was named District 8-4A MVP after finishing the regular season 8-2 on the mound and leading Cleburne in nearly every batting category.
P Brady Cox, Sr., Fort Worth Arlington Heights: Cox was the District 7-4A MVP.
Schneider is a 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed sophomore pitcher who went from Crowley’s freshman squad to first-team all-state for Cleburne. He is also the 2013 Star-Telegram Super Team Player of the Year.
“Honestly, I didn’t know anything about him when he moved in,” Cleburne coach Ross Taylor said. “Somebody told me we had a new guy come in over the summer from Crowley and I said I didn’t remember him. They said he played on the freshman team and I just went, ‘OK.’”
Schneider proved to be the perfect fit as he worked with the coaching staff through fall ball. By the time the season arrived he had secured one of the top two spots in the rotation, along with fellow star sophomore Tyler Fowler. Helping Schneider’s transition to varsity was an experienced team off a state runner-up finish in 2012.
“I have to give most of the credit to my team; without their run support, I couldn’t have done it,” Schneider said. “I’m just thankful for the defense and to have them behind me. I felt like a family member, like a Yellow Jacket as soon as I came in.”
Though neither overpowering or physically imposing on the mound, Schneider thrived, posting an 11-0 record, sub 1.00 ERA and a no-hitter in the regular season to help Cleburne win the District 8-4A title. He also played third base and drove in 20 runs.
“He’s a mid-80s guy who can throw three pitches on any count. He can throw a curveball, slider or fastball on any count and he’ll mix in a changeup every once in a while,” Taylor said. “For a guy who really didn’t come out and just overpower people — he finessed people and got them out — that’s a surprise that a sophomore can do that. Especially the kind of teams that he finessed.”
Cleburne entered the postseason as one of the state’s highest-ranked Class 4A teams, and Schneider once again proved his mettle. He picked up playoff wins over the likes of Fort Worth Western Hills, Denton Guyer, Trophy Club Nelson, Wolfforth Frenship and Wichita Falls Rider before the Yellow Jackets lost in three games to Rider in the regional final.
Schneider finished the season with a 16-0 record, 1.05 ERA, 119 strikeouts and just 15 walks. He was selected first team all-state by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association.
“I had no clue all of this was going to happen, I just wanted to help the team do what we needed to do,” Schneider said. “I had no clue I was going to blow up like this. I just tried to do my part and it worked out.”
Despite his success, Schneider was disappointed the team didn’t make it to state and said he has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to play beyond high school. Taylor wants him to become more confident throwing his changeup and is hopeful he can grow a couple inches over the next two years.
“I’m going to work on all of my pitches, try and get them sharper. I need to get my physical condition better and definitely work on being a better teammate,” Schneider said.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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