Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

Toronto Blue Jays Top-30 prospects #14: Dwight Smith Jr.

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At 23-years-old, the talented Blue Jays outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. is reaching a point in his career where he needs to begin carving out a role for himself at the next level

 Hon. Mentions Part 1    Hon. Mentions Part 2    #30: Freddy Rodriguez
#29: Evan Smith    #28: Deiferson Barreto    #27: Chad Girodo
#26: Roemon Fields    #25:  Rodrigo Orozco    #24:  Reggie Pruitt
#23: Joe Biagini    #22:  Carl Wise    #21: Tom Robson
#20 Matt Dean    #19: Andy Burns    #18: Guadalupe Chavez   #17: Ryan Borucki
#16: Jose Espada    #15: Dan Jansen

Toronto Blue Jays prospect Dwight Smith Jr. has been in the system for four years now and just reached double-A last year. At 23 years old, the outfielder approaching the point where an MLB impact is within the realm of possibility.

Smith Jr. wouldn’t be the first in his family to reach The Show, as his father (of the same name) was also an outfielder who had himself a moderately successful career, which spanned seven seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. The younger Smith will be looking to make a name for himself in the next couple of seasons and, despite outfield depth around him, should have every opportunity to do so.

Name: Dwight Smith Jr.
Position: OF         Age: 23
Height: 5’11”    Age: 195 lbs.
Throws: Right             Bats: Left
Acquired: Supplemental 1st round pick (2011)

With a shorter and stockier frame, it is easy think he may not have the body to play in centre field. Although, upon further investigation, his fielding stats between LF and CF are surprisingly consistent and he has manned the positions naturally.

While he has had more than twice the number of innings in left than in centre (2309 innings compared to 937.1) his fielding percentage comes in very close between them. Over four seasons in the minors his fielding percentage in left comes in at .972, and surprisingly for his time in centre the numbers are slightly better at .974. Smith’s speed and reaction are both assets in these departments

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So while his time in centre field has diminished slowly over his professional career (just eight games in 2015), his future there isn’t completely lost.

As for what he can do with the bat, Smith seems to profile as an average all-around hitter for his physical profile and position, though with some potential remaining for more. He has never hit for much power, and at this point his 2014 season stands as a bit of an aberration (12 HR’s with a .453 SLG).

Although he is already 23 and may not have much physical development remaining, it is possible that he could grow into a bit more power if he creates more hard contact and trends closer to his 2014 numbers than his 2015

While his career average sits at .268, in recent years he has developed quite a knack for getting on base. With walks rates hovering around 10% in the last two seasons to go along with K rates around 12%, he does profile as a good contact hitter with the ability to draw his fair share of walks.

His other above average tool is his speed. While he seems to have been held back in that capacity last year with only four steals, he did have 25 in 2013 at single-A ball as he and Dalton Pompey formed a formidable duo.

All in all, Dwight Smith Jr. has a fairly strong baseline for his tools across the board which will serve him well as he continues to compete in the upper levels of Toronto’s system.

The 2016 season will be a pivotal year for Smith before he looks to legitimize himself as a major league options for the Blue Jays either late in the season or in 2017. Even if Smith does not his his ‘boom’ potential, which remains impressive with enticing home run and stolen base ceilings, he still looks to be at worst a toolsy fourth outfielder in the bigs.

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