Friday, March 15, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #11 Kyle Smith

11. Kyle Smith Right Handed Pitcher

Age: 20
Position: RHP
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 170
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th Round of the 2011 Amateur Draft
From: Boynton Beach, FL

Paden Bennett (14):  Kyle Smith is a 20 year old right hander who made the jump to A ball last season and flourished.  Smith made 13 starts with 67 IP to the tune of a 2.94 era and 87 strikeouts.  I look for Smith to progress pretty quickly through the system because of his ability to throw his plus secondary pitches (curveball & changeup) for strikes.  His ability to get the strikeout when he needs it is because of his ability to get ahead in the count with his fastball, then finish hitters off with a good offspeed pitch.  I love this kid and I hope to see Kyle Smith make a quick jump to Northwest Arkansas.

Joe Cox (7)Kyle Smith is an undersized right handed pitcher who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft.  Smith is another young pitcher who skipped rookie ball from extended spring training to go straight to A ball where he dominated.  Over 67 innings, he walked 20 and struck out 87 batters along with a shiny 2.94 ERA.  Smith also held opponents to only 3 home runs last season.  Smith’s stuff features a fastball that typically hits the low 90s along with a plus curveball and a changeup.  It will be interesting to see how Smith holds up over the course of a full season in 2013.  Being only 20 years old Smith has plenty of time to develop and could be a middle rotation arm for the Royals in a few years.

Damion Mandalas (14):  We heard that Smith was advanced at the time of his selection in the 2011 draft. Thus far in his professional career, he has lived up to that bill. In similar ways to John Lamb, Smith has earned praise for his moxy, and pitchability on the mound. He was said to have excellent command entering professional baseball, but his stuff has played well also. Smith should open the season in Wilmington. My guess is who dominates there and sees Northwest Arkansas prior to 2013 end. This will be his first real test as a professional, given that Double-A is often the level in which command and pitchability start to not be enough. 

Dan Ware (18):  Smith is going to be one of my favorite guys to track this season.  A very accomplished young pitcher out of high school 2 years ago, has yet to disappoint the organization thus far.  A guy that is my size that can throw a mid 90's fastball, a very good curve and changeup is impressive in itself.  His 2012 numbers compared to the Midwest and Rookie League averages just make you that much more excited for the young man.  Granted, it was Low-A ball, so don't get too happy.  This year I expect Smith to start off with Wilmington and if he can keep the momentum going, he'll be in Northwest Arkansas in no time.  Keep at least one eye on Kyle all year.

Total Points: 71

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