The Blue Jays took their second shortstop of the draft, choosing Kevin Smith from Maryland in the 4th round,126th overall.
The Blue Jays added another piece to their middle infield depth, selecting Kevin Smith in the 4th round, 126th overall. Smith is from the University of Maryland, and is the second shortstop taken by the Blue Jays thus far, after they added Logan Warmoth with their first pick, #22 overall.
Smith played three years at the University of Maryland and has improved throughout his time in the college ranks. What drew the most attention to the New York native was how he produced in the Cape Cod league this past summer, earning an All-Star selection, playoff MVP honours, and hitting .301 with 12 doubles in 41 games.
Smith is said to have some swing and miss tendencies, and hasn’t been able to put together enough consistency at the plate during the season with the University of Maryland. He’s described as having “sneaky power” by several scouts, and is considered an intelligent player with room to grow in the batting average department.
Get To Know Kevin Smith
Height/Weight: 6’0″, 188 lbs
Schools: University of Maryland
Smith should develop into an asset on defence, as he’s got enough ability that he should be able to stick at shortstop over the long term. His quick release helps makes up for his average arm strength, but he’s shown continued improvement in that department as well.
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It’ll likely be that “sneaky power” that makes or breaks his career, and determines whether or not he can flourish as a big league shortstop. He’ll need to improve at making contact in order to advance, unless he makes enormous strides in the power department, which seems unlikely.
Bleacherreport.com had Smith ranked as the #36 prospect in their pre-draft rankings, so it would appear that he’s fallen quite a bit in the eyes of some scouts. While it’s not uncommon for there to be differences of opinion in the scouting world, it was somewhat surprising to see him fall all the way to #126th.
As was the case with the Blue Jays first selection on Tuesday, it appears that taking Smith was a case of choosing who they believe is the best available player in the draft. It’s not like the Blue Jays to only take one pitcher out of their first five picks, but it’s never a bad strategy to seek the best value with each pick.
Hopefully Smith will continue to develop into the type of player that had some scouts believing he could be a late first rounder. If that’s the case, the Blue Jays may have just gotten a steal in the 4th round.