As you probably know already, yesterday around 5:20 the Mets dealt Lucas Duda to the Rays in exchange for Drew Smith. Smith was dealt to the Rays earlier this year from the Tigers for outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, is from Fort Worth, Texas, around the same area of Texas as Noah Syndergaard. He went to Dallas Baptist University, also Syndergaard’s college commitment and the same school as former Met reliever, Vic Black.
Smith is a college reliever who was drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft. He just reached Double-A recently and will report to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The stuff for Smith is good, he throws hard and doesn’t walk many. He also does not give up home runs as evidenced by his one homer given up in 124.2 professional innings. Fun fact, that homer was hit by Mets minor league first baseman, Peter Alonso.
In 2016, Smith had a 2.96 ERA in 48.2 innings with 62 strikeouts to 23 walks. This year, he has 1.60 ERA in 45 innings with 40 strikeouts to only nine walks. The decrease in walks are great to see and the strikeout ability is certainly there.
The repertoire for Smith is a hard fastball from 93-96 that has hit 98 and a good curveball. Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported multiple teams asked for Smith in a deal recently. Smith ranks as the No. 30 prospect in the Rays organization on MLB.com but rankings are not kind to reliever only prospects. A Tigers blog, Bless You Boys, had Smith ranked as the Tigers No. 19 prospect before he was traded to the Rays.
J.J. Cooper of Baseball America likes the return.
Mets did pretty good to get Drew Smith, one of the better prospects to get swapped in a rental, and he's a RP prospect who just left Class A
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) July 27, 2017
The return is more than fine. Smith throws hard and he should be in the MLB bullpen in some capacity. Some think he can be a setup man which is very valuable in this day and age.
Smith could be ready to help the Mets bullpen in 2018, something that has been a weak spot on the 2017 team.