Drafted by the Mets with the 11th overall pick in last June’s amateur draft, Smith had a fantastic first taste of pro ball last year.
In 48 games with the GCL Mets (Rookie League), Smith had a triple slash of .287/.384/.407. He got a cup of coffee with Kingsport of the Appalachian league at the end of the season, performing well in a tiny three game sample.
Yesterday, during a chat with fans, the Mets suggested that Smith may skip short-season Brooklyn this season and instead start with Low-A Savannah.
Here’s what MLB.com had to say about Smith:
Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
Smith was perhaps the best pure prep hitter in the 2013 Draft class, and the Mets grabbed him with the 11th overall pick. He looks like the total package at first base, combining solid athleticism and defense with a sweet left-handed swing.
Smith has the potential to hit for both average and power. His hand-eye coordination and advanced pitch recognition skills allow him to get on base often, while still driving balls.
Smith is a below-average runner, limiting him to first base. He has all the skills necessary to develop above-average defense at the position. Even if his defense does develop as expected, there will always be pressure on Smith’s bat. Scouts are confident he will provide enough offense to make him a solid Major Leaguer in time.
With Smith’s ranking, the Mets now have (according to MLB.com), the best catching prospect in baseball (Travis d’Arnaud), the third best right handed pitching prospect in baseball (Noah Syndergaard), and the second best first base prospect in baseball. Catcher Kevin Plawecki was also mentioned as someone to keep an eye on.
As far as Smith goes, at the time he was drafted, scouts were saying that he was the best hitter in the entire draft. Combine that with his solid performance last year, his defensive abilities, and his upside, and you get today’s ranking.
Smith is viewed as someone who has a chance to be a tremendous offensive first baseman who is also a gold glove defender. This isn’t an exaggeration, it’s what most scouts believe his ceiling is.
If he starts in Low-A Savannah this season, there’s a very good chance he finds his way to High-A St. Lucie before the end of the campaign.
That could put him on track to open 2015 with Double-A Binghamton, which would put him achingly close to the majors.