Toronto Blue Jays 2015 Top Prospect Wrap Up: The injured
By Ryan Mueller
Mandatory Credit: MLB Prospect Portal
Another tall left-handed and injured 2012 draft pick, Smoral is highly regarded and ranked at #16 on MLB.com prospect list despite his struggles.
2015 saw the 6’8″ southpaw with a devastating slider land on the DL twice, first on June 24th and again in August after being struck in the face with a line drive.
The Jays were aggressive with him this summer, starting in Advanced-A Dunedin; unfortunately, struggles with his mechanics and his health caused him to get hit hard in 5 appearances before landing on the DL at the end of June. Smoral finished with a 1-0 record 14.73 ERA, 6 BB and 5 K good for a 3.55 WHIP.
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Matt spent month on the DL, missing most of July before being assigned to Bluefield. Things started out pretty good in Bluefield, with Smoral only allowing one run through his first 5 appearances (7.2IP), but the control issues started to resurface. In his first 5 innings, Smoral walked one batter, but walked 10 in his next 3 appearances.
Smoral finished strong and looked good in his final two outings, allowing one run, one hit, one HB, 2 BB and 2K in 1.2IP on August 18th and no runs on one hit, one BB and 2K’s in 1.1IP before being hit in the face with a line drive. As a member of the Bluefield Blue Jays Smoral finished with no record, a 5.06 ERA, 14BB, and 16K’s over 10.2 innings.
Prognosis for 2016
Unless Smoral can iron out his mechanical issues, his starting days are history. This could already be the case after the organization elected to use him strictly out of the pen in 2015. It is unlikely that any team will take a flier on a pitcher that spend much of the year struggling with control in Rookie ball, but Smoral is eligible in this year’s Rule V draft. Expect him to begin the 2016 with Dunedin and for the organization to aggressively promote him if he’s able show anything close to average control. Management will want to see what they have if they are going to protect him next off-season.