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Mets: Josh Smoker’s movie-like career

jperricone
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Lets take a closer look at Josh Smoker and his career.

Smoker was the Washington Nationals’ 31st pick overall back in 2007. He seemed destined for success at the big league level. Unfortunately, injuries crept up on him and he eventually saw several surgeries. Consequently, his valued fastball velocity dipped and he ultimately saw himself released. The once promising prospect was out of baseball and unsure of his future.

When the Mets signed Smoker back in 2015, initial reports stated that he had the potential to throw hard out of the bullpen and that he was recovered from the ailments that plagued his short-lived career.

Reading further, I realized that Smoker was on the verge of quitting baseball on several occasions and that he attempted one last chance by playing for an independent league team. The latter would pay off for him. He was ultimately scouted and given a chance by the Mets.

Smoker progressed through the Mets’ minor league ranks throughout 2015. He began his Mets career in Double-A Binghamton where he logged in 21 innings and pitched to a sub 1.30 WHIP. In Triple-A Las Vegas, he struggled at points to push his WHIP over 1.40 but his fastball velocity stayed consistently in the 95 mph range.

In 2016, Smoker finally made his debut for the Mets. In 15.1 innings pitched, he posted a 3-0 record, 4.7 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. This season, Smoker is more than halfway to his total innings pitched from last year and boasts an ERA under 3.0. He now serves as a reliable left-handed pitcher in addition to Jerry Blevins. With the current makeup of the Mets and the team’s organizational philosophy to preserve the young starting rotation, Smoker will be a vital factor for success.

Next: Mets GM talks Wright, and it’s not reassuring

If Smoker’s career was a movie, it would definitely have promise. The plot consists of a protagonist that everyone can get behind. It also has the ups and downs that test said protagonist. Will he be able to overcome these obstacles and find success? Time will tell but if 2016 was any indicator, it should end well.

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