Facts & Info: The Indians selected Smith in the 9th round of the 2011 Draft as a draft eligible sophomore out of Saint Cloud St. (MN). Last season he finished 2nd in the Midwest League in hitting (.316), 1st in hits (148), 6th in RBI (74), 3rd in total bases (212), 11th in on-base percentage (.367), 12th in slugging percentage (.453), and 9th in OPS (.820). He also finished 6th in the organization in hitting (.316) and 3rd in RBI (74).
The Offense: Smith has good hitting skills and puts up consistent, quality at bats with a patient approach to hitting. His best skill is his bat, showing an impressive eye and good bat-to-ball ability. The power is average but is maturing and getting stronger, and he also has a natural ability for finding the barrel of the bat and driving the ball.
The Defense: Smith played outfield and third base in college, but is being developed as a right fielder. The Indians are committed to him as a corner outfielder, and last season was the first time he played outfield full time. He shows solid ability in the outfield with range and instinct, takes good routes, and is a good decision maker. He displays athleticism in the outfield with deceptive speed, an accurate arm, and good instinct.
The Intangibles: Smith is a hard worker who utilizes the resources around him. He is a good self-evaluator that is grounded and honest with himself about what he needs to get better at.
The Focus: The biggest thing that is going to determine Smith’s fate as a prospect is the development of his power. He has the skills to be an average defender, hit for average and limit strikeouts at the major league level, but to be a corner outfielder in the big leagues he is going to have to produce runs. He needs to refine his approach to learn which pitches he can drive.
The Crystal Ball: Smith has been a good performer so far in his career. He has some impressive size and if he can continue to get stronger, there is a potential for him to jump into a higher prospect standing. He may never be an elite prospect, but he is an interesting prospect with potential because of his size, athleticism, ability to hit, and versatility. Right now his future is that of a Jordan Brown-type, but if that power surfaces then he could be a lot more.