Toronto Blue Jays 2017 top prospects: #21, OF Dwight Smith Jr.


Blue Jays prospect Dwight Smith Jr. had a rebound season in his second go around in Double A.  After the solid he looks to solidify the package he showed off in 2016.

The now 24-year-old Dwight Smith Jr. was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 draft as the 53 overall pick.  Smith presents a unique package of tools and is solid across the board.  He is expected to hit for a decent average that could eventually feature some consistent pop.

Smith’s power will more likely be in the form of hard hit line drives from gap to gap.  With his speed he could be a great piece in the Blue Jays corner outfield spots down the road.

Name: Dwight Smith Jr.
Position: OF         Age: 24
Height: 5’11”    Age: 195 lbs.
Throws: Right             Bats: Left
Acquired: Supplemental 1st round pick (2011)

In his first few seasons with the organization Smith has shown he can be a key part of an offensive attack.  In 2013 and 2014 he hit a solid .284.  The 2013 season marked his first taste of full season baseball with the Lansing Lugnuts.  He raked in 17 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs.  Those hits translated into 46 RBI, but he also scored 57 times while stealing 25 bases.  In 2014 it was more of the same and it appeared that the Jays had a future outfielder in the making.

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That 2014 season saw Smith playing with the Dunedin Blue Jays in high-A where his slugging numbers increases as he hit more extra base hits.  He collected 28 doubles, eight triples, and 12 home runs.  He also increased his productivity by driving in 60 runners and scored 83 times.  The one thing that regressed was his stolen bases.  He swiped 15 bases after taking 25 the season before.  I was fortunate enough to see Smith play while he was in Dunedin.  During the few games I had the pleasure of seeing his style reminded me of a young Shannon Stewart.  He has similar tools and hits the ball hard while burning up the base paths.

The 2015 season finally brought on a challenge for Dwight Smith Jr.  He struggled in his first chance in double-A but still showed plenty of potential along the way.  He was still able to score 74 runs and crack 26 doubles.  The issues were with his main offensive numbers as he dropped his triple slash line from .284/ .363/ .453 down to .265/ .335/ .376.

Smith clearly still has the tools to to remain a top prospect and proved it during the 2016 season.  He once again played in double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats but saw his slugging numbers return to where they were in previous years.  He posted a slash line of .265/ .332/ .433 with 25 doubles, five triples, and 15 home runs.  He also was able to drive in 74 while scoring 56 runs.  Smith had a healthy frame under him this past season where he was able to steal 12 bases.  In the 2015 season he was only able to steal four.

Smith is like many Blue Jays prospects and has a big leg kick to start off his swing, looking like a left-handed Jose Bautista as he gets his right leg up to a 90-degree bend.  As he uses this to load up he explodes to the ball with his quick hands.  He has a nice level swing plan that had allowed him to drive the ball hard into the gaps.

This consistent stroke coupled with his speedy legs will translate into plenty of extra base hits. This past season a few more of those hard hit line drives happened to go over the wall. The above video shows him loading up on his back leg and lining a ball over the right field wall.

Dwight Smith Jr. is likely destined for a triple-A debut this season.  The Buffalo Bisons need players and Smith fits the ticket after proving himself in his second double-A showing.  Coming into this season he also could be a long shot to make his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays at some point in the year because of his defensive and speed tools.  If Dalton Pompey gets a shot to stick with Toronto this season Smith could be next in line in the upper-minors as that extra speedy outfielder to come off the bench.  His pop and ability to hit hard line drives will also play well on the turf in the Rogers Centre.

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