- Full name Andrew David Smith
- Born 09/24/1993 in Fort Worth, TX
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Dallas Baptist
- Debut 06/23/2018
Drafted in the 3rd round (99th overall) by the Detroit Tigers in 2015 (signed for $575,800).
View Draft ReportSmith's junior season has not been as productive statistically as would be expected out of a big righthander with a fastball that sits at 94-96 mph and touches 98. But scouts who want to dream on his excellent arm speed and athleticism could land an excellent bullpen arm if Smith can harness his downward-breaking breaking ball to pair with his plus fastball. His curveball has shown signs of becoming an above-average pitch in the past, but he didn't throw it consistently enough this year to trust it. Smith hides the ball well in his delivery and has some deception and glove-side run to his fastball. Dallas Baptist tried Smith briefly as a starter but returned him to the bullpen, and he projects as a reliever in pro ball thanks to the effort in his delivery and his fringy command.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: The Mets acquired seven minor league relievers in a series of 2017 trades, and Smith was one of four to reach the big leagues in 2018. He was also the most effective, recording a 3.54 ERA in 27 appearances. The Mets acquired him when they traded Lucas Duda to the Rays near the trade deadline.
Scouting Report: Smith sat 95-97 mph with an average velocity of 96 and peak velocity near 99 in the big leagues. That made him one of the top 40 hardest-throwing major league relievers in 2018. His curveball keeps the same company in terms of spin rate. It's a 78-82 mph breaking pitch with tight, top-to-bottom rotation. But despite impressive raw inputs, Smith needs to tighten command of his primary weapons for them to truly play as plus. He also throws a fringe changeup that surprises batters.
The Future: Smith has the raw weaponry to dominate, but unless he takes another step forward at age 25 in 2019, he probably fits best in a medium-leverage relief role.
Smith played at three levels and for three organizations in 2017 after being traded twice. The Tigers made the power reliever a third-round pick and the first of five Dallas Baptist pitchers drafted in 2015. He made 35 appearances at low Class A in 2016 as he worked around minor injuries to his shoulder, elbow and pectoral muscle. Detroit traded him to the Rays in April 2017 as the player to be named for outfielder Mikie Mahtook, and then Tampa Bay traded him to the Mets for first baseman Lucas Duda near the trade deadline. Like all the relievers the Mets traded for in 2017, Smith throws a big fastball with riding life. He pitches at 96 mph and ranges from 94-98, but he differs from the group with his breaking ball of choice. He throws a high-spin, top-to-bottom curveball at 78-82 mph that can be a plus weapon. The spin rate on the pitch was measured by TrackMan at about 2,800 revolutions per minute, which would rank in the 90th percentile of all major league pitchers who threw a curve at least 25 times in 2017. Smith stayed off the disabled list in 2017, improved his control and threw a career-high 60 innings. Smith finished 2017 at Double-A Binghamton in the Eastern League playoffs, and he will be a call away from New York at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2018.
Though he made 10 starts--including eight in his sophomore year--Smith was primarily a reliever in his three years at Dallas Baptist. He pitched one summer for the Mat-su Miners of the college Alaska League, where he was teammates with fellow Tigers prospects Christin Stewart and A.J. Simcox. Detroit drafted Smith in the third round of 2015 and gave him a $575,800 bonus. His calling card in both college and the professional ranks is his high-powered fastball, which sits in the 92-97 mph range. He also has a 12-to-6 curveball, but had to be convinced to throw it early in the season. He throws the pitch with sufficient arm speed, but early on evaluators said it had a hump that hitters could easily pick up. He also has a changeup, but he throws it very rarely. His delivery is high-effort and features a small collapse on his back leg. Smith has dealt with injuries throughout his career and landed on the disabled list three times since turning pro. This season he dealt with minor injuries to his shoulder, elbow and pectoral muscles. He will head to high Class A Lakeland in 2017.
Smith has a huge arm, though the results never quite matched the stuff in college. As a sophomore at Dallas Baptist, Smith split time between starting and relieving, posting a 5.79 ERA. Almost exclusively a reliever as a junior in 2015, he was a little better but still had a 3.97 ERA. The big fastball and athleticism were enticing enough for the Tigers to draft him in the third round and sign him for $575,800. Smith immediately fared better against pro hitters in the short-season New York-Penn League than he did in college, missing more bats and suddenly filling up the strike zone. Smith has an extremely quick arm that produces mid-90s fastball that can get up to 98 mph. Smith had flashed signs of an above-average curveball in the past, and while he struggled with the quality and location of that pitch in college, it showed sharp action to miss bats in pro ball. Smith battled his command at Dallas Baptist, but he walked just 1.5 batters per nine innings in his pro debut. There is effort in Smith's delivery that should keep him in the bullpen and might hamper his command, but it does provide for some deception.
Smith's junior season has not been as productive statistically as would be expected out of a big righthander with a fastball that sits at 94-96 mph and touches 98. But scouts who want to dream on his excellent arm speed and athleticism could land an excellent bullpen arm if Smith can harness his downward-breaking breaking ball to pair with his plus fastball. His curveball has shown signs of becoming an above-average pitch in the past, but he didn't throw it consistently enough this year to trust it. Smith hides the ball well in his delivery and has some deception and glove-side run to his fastball. Dallas Baptist tried Smith briefly as a starter but returned him to the bullpen, and he projects as a reliever in pro ball thanks to the effort in his delivery and his fringy command.