Birthdate: February 6, 1995
High School" Serra HS, CA
Very good for a power hitter. I think .290 could definitely happen. He's got a smooth swing, great lefthanded stroke, and from what I've seen good plate discipline for a power guy. As most power guys go, he tends to chase and sell out for it. He's got a penchant for getting his weight out over his front side, but that can be corrected. Should hit for a good average and many scouts think with a little work he's easily a plus hitter.
What I think is his best and most useable tool. Has complete pole to pole power and his swing only help get the barrel on the ball. Good loft in the swing that should turn doubles into homeruns. His body is pretty mature as it is so not much room for natural strength, but could easily pack on muscle and really unlock that power. The good swing is there to tun that power into game realized. 65 grade might be optimistic, but I like what I see from him and if Johnathan Singleton gets graded at 60+ power, I think Smith should as well.
Speed is below average, but as a first baseman and power hitter he doesn't have to rely on it. Won't be Billy Butler on the paths, but a handful of stolen bases is the peak and kill you station to station.
This would rank as his best graded tool, but being at first base it's basically wasted. Many don't see him transitioning well to the outfield due his speed and range out there, but I think the arm would play well. He can get it up to over 90 MPH on the mound.
I've heard mixed reports here. Keith Law isn't that high on him defensively, while BP thinks he's gold glove worthy. I'll take near the middle of those two while leaning towards BP. He's got the soft hands and good footwork to be above average there. I don't think he's gold glove worthy, but surely he'll be a good, if not very good, defensive first baseman.
Overall: Would be a Top 5 prospect for the Royals.
Hitter: Would be the #1 hitting prospect for the Royals.
Position: In the outfield I would take him over Bubba as #1. Obviously there are no real 1B prospects in the minors for the Royals so he's #1 in that category.
While it would be phenomenal to end up as good as them, expectations need to be tempered.
I like the Morneau or Michael Cuddyer at 1B comp. Really good defense, decent average, and some really good power. A .290/.340/.500 hitter with plus defense sounds good to me.
I'll give you another comparison I've seen
- “bat speed to spare”
- “as much raw power as anyone in the draft”
- “power ranges to all fields”
- “approach at the plate is advanced”
- “solid defender with athleticism”
- “well above-average arm”
- “regularly touching 95 mph off the mound”
- “could be an above-average defender”
- “tools to be an all-star first baseman”
That sound like someone you've heard of before? It's none of than Royals Megastar Eric Hosmer.
The Draft: No question he's a Top 10 talent for me although I think playing first will slightly lower his stock. Considered the best prep hitter in California (which is a big honor for A) a first baseman and B) California is a prospect factory) most teams will take the lack major defensive production in exchange for the large bat. I think he'll be around for the Royals still at #8 and if they are looking for a future All-Star at the plate, the Smith would be a great selection. He's no doubt 3 years or so away though. (Butler will be 30 and Hosmer 26)