The Potential Tools: 60 hit, 60 glove, 50 arm
Strengths: Natural hitting ability; easy, fluid stroke from left side; plus bat speed; can square velocity and uses all fields; quality approach and pitch ID skills; will stay back on off-speed pitches and drive them the other way; clean footwork at first base; solid reactions and natural feel for the position; has no trouble with balls in the dirt; will be an asset at the position; average arm strength; average raw power; present gap-to-gap doubles power in-game.
Weaknesses: Average raw power but yet to translate in-game; swing is line-drive oriented rather than over-the-fence power – questioning overall power projection at a traditional premium power position; body could get soft; solid defense but limited defensive value; average athleticism; run is below average; will expand zone vs. spin.
Role Ceiling: 50; major league regular first baseman.
Risk: Moderate; limited defensive value and power projection – must outhit projection to provide supreme value.
Summary: One of the more interesting prospects in the minor leagues. He features a clean and easy swing from the left side and superb natural hitting skills. Smith is a plus defender at first base but has the arm to possibly play left field: oddly, the Mets have never tried him out there.
While featuring some doubles power, Smith’s overall raw power and swing aren’t geared for over-the-fence power and that limits his offensive value at a traditionally premium power position. For Smith to be an offensive asset, he’ll likely have to overshoot his hit projection and have a high OBP. That’s a lot of pressure on a corner-infield bat.