Prospect Profile: Josh Smith
The Yankees drafted Josh Smith last year in the second round of the draft. Smith came to the Yankees from Louisiana State University, the same program that produced another Yankees’ middle infielder, DJ LeMahieu. After being drafted, the young shortstop made his professional debut with Staten Island this year and should bring some excitement to Tampa next season.
Name: Josh Smith Birthdate: August 7, 1997 Position: Shortstop B/T: L/R Height: 5’10 Weight: 172
Smith played third base his freshman year at LSU and then missed the bulk of his sophomore year with a stress reaction in a lumbar vertebra, making only six appearances. in 2019, he lead the Tigers in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage with a slash line of .346/.433/.533. This was in the SEC, perhaps the toughest conference for collegiate baseball.
After signing with the Yankees for a $976,700 bonus, Smith started his professional career manning shortstop for the Staten Island Yankees. The young infielder showed how he lead a strong LSU team in batting, putting together an impressive slash line of .324/.450/.477 with a 177 wRC+. Smith not only had solid offensive numbers, but he more than held his own on defense. Scouts have generally projected Smith to end up playing second, but he looked good at short.
The lefty makes consistent contact at the plate and has a good sense of the strike zone, showing good discipline at the plate. He uses the entire field and while his raw power is unlikely to be outstanding, he projects to hit about 15 homers a season. Smith has plus speed potential and appears to know how to use it.
On the field, Smith is steady with his glove and has good hands and a decent arm. He’s shown an ability to adjust to different infield roles. He is an all-around solid player, who may not wow you in any single area of the game, but doesn’t have any apparent weaknesses. Presumably, Smith will head to Tampa to start 2020, getting his first look at full season baseball. He will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on, as he could move up rather quickly.