Previewing The Mets New Minor League Relievers: Drew Smith | Astromets Mind

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Previewing The Mets New Minor League Relievers: Drew Smith

Continued from here

Unless otherwise noted, the “stuff” information gathered comes from listening to the broadcasters as I dug up old highlights. 

From the Lucas Duda Trade

RHP Drew Smith, 23

2017 in FSL (w/Tigers): 11.2 IP, 29.3 K%: 9.8 BB%, 0.77 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 14.9% Swinging strike rate; 68% Strikes
2017 in FSL (w/Rays): 28.2 IP, 24.1 K%: 4.3 BB%, 2.20 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 11.1% Swinging strike rate; 68% Strikes
Also spent 4.2 IP between Double-A and Triple-A with the Rays.

The path to the Mets: Drew Smith was a top-100 pick in the 2015 draft, taken 99th overall (3rd round) by the Detroit Tigers out of Dallas Baptist University – a program that has produced a lot of pro talent over the years, including fellow Mets prospect Joe Shaw and former Mets reliever (and fan favorite) Vic Black. He was sent to rookie ball for his first season – where he dominated – and then spent all of 2016 as a standout reliever in the Midwest League.
            Coming into 2017, Smith was given an honorable mention in the Fangraphs preview of Detroit’s farm system, where Fangraphs prospect guru Eric Longenhagen put a ‘future middle-relief’ label on him. Facing more advanced pitching for the first time, Smith thought he was going to have a chance to establish himself within the Tigers system, but little did he know there was already a good chance he’d be heading to the Rays as the player to be named later in the Mike Mahtook trade.
            He was on the Rays by May and his first appearance came against the teammates he had been playing with just a few days earlier. It was a bit of wild two months for Smith with Tampa Bay: he spent June in the FSL, went to the IL for a game with Durham, spent another couple of weeks in the FSL, and was then sent to the Southern League for three games before the Rays traded him to the Mets. The Mets let him take his time joining up with the Rumble Ponies, so he chose to make a 17-hour drive to Binghamton, where he’s found himself in several big spots already.

The stuff: Smith is a two-pitch reliever, featuring a fastball that sits 93-95+ MPH, and a power curve. Per Longenhagen, “Smith has a gorgeous, explosive delivery and his fastball reaches into the upper-90s with regularity.” He likes to attack the zone with his two-pitch arsenal, which helps him keep the walks down (he had a 5.2% BB-rate total this year before joining Binghamton, and was at 7.6% for his minor league career).

The secondaries: As a 2015 draft pick, Drew Smith will not need protection from the Rule-5 draft this winter, which is good, because the Mets already had more than enough guys they needed to protect. He will need protection next winter.
            Longenhagen said his fastball, “lacks horizontal movement,” and expressed concern about how it would play at the upper levels of the system. Before Sunday, he'd only thrown 11-innings above High-A – spent at three different stops – but he had been having trouble missing bats at the higher levels (very) early on, with just 3 K during those stops. Of course, then he struck out seven in a row on Sunday, so maybe he just needed a chance to settle in.
            He projects as a middle relief option for the Mets down the road and he should make it to Las Vegas at some point next season.

The GIFs:
With Durham
7/3: 1 IP, H, 0 R, 2 GO, 13 Pitches (11 Strikes)
-       Drew Dosch singled through the middle

-       Sharlon Schoop hit a double play grounder to SS

-       Logan Schafer hit a groundout to 2B

With Montgomery
7/19: 1 IP, H, 0 R, 1 GO, 7 Pitches (6 Strikes)

-       Gabriel Guerrero lined a single in to CF

-       Aristides Aquino hit a double play grounder to SS

-       Chad Tromp popped out to 1B

7/21: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 GO: 1 FO, 21 Pitches (15 Strikes)

-       Blake Trahan hit a groundout to Smith

-       Shed Long flied out to LF

-       Nick Senzel hit a groundout to SS

7/25: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, HBP, 2 GO: 3 FO, 16 Pitches (11 Strikes)
-       Charcer Burks flied out to RF

-       Ian Rice hit a groundout to SS

-       Jason Vosler flied out to CF
-       Yasiel Balaquert took a HBP
-       David Bote flied out to RF

-       Carlos Penalver hit a groundout to 3B

With Binghamton
8/4: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 GO, 3 Pitches (2 Strikes), 1 IR – 0 S
-       Raudy Read hit a groundout to 3B

Rain delay called after this pitch was fouled off

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