On Jan. 31, the Mets traded Smoker to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Daniel Zamora and cash considerations.
Zamora, 25 in April, was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round of the 2012 amateur draft, but instead chose to attend Stony Brook University on Long Island. He was then drafted by the Bucs in the 40th round of the 2015 draft.
The 6’3″ and 190 pound California native spent the first two years of his professional career with the Short-A West Virginia Black Bears of the New York-Penn League. He was used exclusively out of the bullpen and recorded a 2.66 and 3.46 ERA in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Last year, he split his season between the High-A Bradenton Marauders and Double-A Altoona Curve. Cumulatively, he registered a 1.76 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and 1.225 WHIP in 56.1 innings hurled.
He held lefties to a .232/.284/.261 clip (16-for-69) and righties to a .236/.306/.299 slash line (34-for-144) while logging a 63/19 K/BB between the two clubs as well.
His fastball tops out at about 92 mph while his slider has a peak velocity of about 80 mph. However, the main knock on the southpaw is that his fastball can lay flat and he has some trouble controlling his pitches. Though, his slider does generate swings and misses.
“Zamora creates a solid angle to the plate and deception, with a sweeping, sharp slider flashing as a quality pitch that he can sweet with reasonable consistency to the glove side,” according to Baseball Prospectus. “Hitters often start and stop their swing too late, or miss badly. This puts him in consideration for middle relief, but the fastball is below-average in both command and movement, and the resulting margin for error is very small. Org value is most realistic.”
At the end of the day, he could find himself as a LOOGY type pitcher if he ever reaches the majors according to some scouts. We will have to see if he can build off his success in the minors from last season.