Prospect Profile: Canaan Smith
Each season you see some prospects fall off and others gain some traction. Charleston’s Canaan Smith has gone through both over the last two seasons. The outfielder from Texas bounced back from a tough 2018 with a stellar year in Charleston, leading the way with his bat and a .307 average.
Name: Canaan Smith Birthdate: April 30, 1999 Position: Outfield Bats/Throws: L/R Height: 6’0 Weight: 215 School: Rockwall-Heath (Heath, TX)
The Yankees drafted Smith in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. He was ranked as the 365th best prospect prior to the draft, but the Yankees liked him enough to take him with the 122nd pick and sign him slightly above slot, convincing Smith to bypass his commitment to Arkansas.
In Smith’s senior year of high school, he was so feared at the plate that he drew an impressive 57 walks. His first taste of professional baseball wasn’t much different as he lead the Gulf Coast League with 48 walks in 57 games. That first season, Smith hit .289/.430/.853. He stole five bases but was caught stealing three times. He also had five homers and ten doubles.
Smith was sent up to the New York Penn League in 2018, where he made 45 appearances with the Staten Island Yankees. Unfortunately, the young outfielder struggled. He hit just .191/.281/.316 that season. He didn’t steal a base, drew just 19 walks, and had only three homers. Luckily, Smith was able to shake off that rough season and came back with a vengeance this year.
In his first full season as a professional, Smith showed off why the Yankees took a chance on him in the early rounds. He hit an impressive .307/..405/.465 with Charleston, drawing 74 walks and hitting 11 homers. He also picked up an impressive 16 stolen bases, getting caught just four times.
In high school, Smith played catcher and first base, but the Yankee have shifted him to the outfield. He has impressive arm strength, which is not a surprise for the former quarterback. He shows flashes of speed, but his arm and athleticism have him primed to play the outfield corners.
The batter’s box is where Smith thrives. A big lefty at the plate, Smith has great bat speed, strength, and plate discipline. He should be able to hit for power and average from the left side. Despite his high walk rate, he isn’t one to watch a good pitch go by.
It will be a couple more years before Smith gets a sniff of the Bronx, but it should be fun to keep an eye on his progress as he makes his way up. If he can keep improving on this past season, Smith’s bat could be a great weapon at Yankee Stadium.