Ht: 6’2” Wt: 210
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Draft: 1st Round, 7th overall (2017, ARI)
In his senior year at the University of Virginia, Smith had more home runs than strikeouts, which had more to do with his plate discipline than it did with gaudy home run totals. Thus far in his professional career, his plate discipline has persisted, walking 12.3% of the time while only striking out in 9.3% of his plate appearances. His 1.33 B/KK ratio is first in the Northwest League by a large margin (second place has a 0.91 mark). Smith put up three .300 seasons in the ACC and his plus hit tool has continued early in his professional career. Grade: 60
The tool that raises the most questions for Smith is his power. During batting practice, Smith’s smooth level left handed swing sprays ball all over the field, but he does not have the quick switch explosiveness that projects to ever be a 30 home run hitter. Smith does have room to put on muscle and already possesses enough power to run into some bombs, so if he fills out, I could see him being a consistent 18-24 home run hitter.
Smith does not have good foot speed, as I had his average time to first base at 4.52 and his time to from home to second at 8.54. His lack of speed will limit his defensive versatility, which may come into play in to play as he advances through the Diamondbacks system as he has Paul Goldschmidt standing in his way at the MLB level.
Smith has great instincts at first base, making diving plays both to his left and his right on Tuesday night. He also demonstrated a plus throwing arm for a first baseman by gunning down a runner at third from across the diamond. Smith has enough instincts and mobility to have above average range at first base.
Smith’s only true plus tool is his hit tool, which limits his star potential. Due to his smooth left handed swing and plate discipline, Smith will most likely put up high AVG and OBP totals throughout the minor leagues, which makes him a relatively safe MLB projection, but his lack of power for the position hurts him.
Physically, Smith looks more like Eric Hosmer with a little less explosiveness. His skillset is more like Brandon Belt, with worse defense.