Kevin Smith- Shortstop
Kevin Smith was taken in the 4th round, 129th overall in the last year’s draft out the University of Maryland. The 21-year signed at slot for $405,100 and was assigned to the rookie level in Bluefield.
The shortstop hit .271/.312/.466 with 8 home runs and 9 stolen bases in 61 games with the baby Jays. Smith was an extra-base machine as 47% of his hits were of the extra base nature connecting for 25 doubles, 1 triple and 8 round trippers, a smooth 34/71 line.
The right-handed hitting Smith surprisingly struggled versus southpaw pitchers in his rookie season hitting just .217 versus lefties and .281 opposite right-handed pitching. Like Noda, the shortstop enjoyed success with 2 outs and runners in scoring position owning a .350 average. The success when the pressure is elevated bodes well for these youngsters mental fortitude and make-up.
Defensively, Smith should be able to stick at shortstop moving forward and provide a plus stick with above average speed. Unfortunately for Smith, he may have a roadblock with the big club at the shortstop position if “Bo” continues to dominate baseball. Too many shortstops is definitely a good problem to have.
Look for Smith to gain some recognition among prospect prognosticators this season if he can better last year’s totals.