The New York Mets have selected right-handed pitcher Burch Smith with the 6th overall pick in the Rule 5 draft.
The Mets have traded Smith to the Kansas Royals for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Smith, 27, went 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 over 56.1 innings in 2017. Smith pitched in 13 games in the Tampa Bay Rays system finishing the season at Triple-A where he had a 1.65 ERA.
Smith made his major league debut back in 2013 with a 6.44 ERA for the San Diego Padres. He did have 46 strikeouts in 36 innings.
Smith missed all of 2015 and 2016 after having Tommy John Surgery.
Here is the Baseball America scouting report:
“In the Arizona Fall League, Smith sat 94-96 mph with his fastball, flashed a knee-buckling 74-76 mph curveball and showed a swing-and-miss 79-81 mph changeup. Though he’s 27 and has had serious arm health issues, Smith is major league ready and has the stuff to help a team as a back-end starter or move to the bullpen.”
Baseball America had Smith rated as the No. 1 player in the draft and expected him to go very early.
The Mets did not lose a player in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
With their first pick in the minor league phase the Mets selected infielder Andrew Ely. The 24-year-old Ely played shortstop, second base, third base and left field in Double-A for the Chicago Cubs last year. He hit .259/.356/.355 in 282 at-bats.
The Mets lost left-handed pitcher Jose Carlos Medina in the minor league portion of the draft. He had a 3.27 ERA between the Brooklyn Cyclones and Columbia Fireflies in 2017.