Maxed out physically, already filled out; has gone from muscular and trim last year to softer and more full throughout his body this season; no room for growth, only progress physically would be to trim down; body isn't a concern now but it could be an issue considering it's taken a step back and he's not yet 20.
St. Lucie Mets (High A, Mets)
Extremely difficult to gauge; received extremely positive reviews on makeup as an amateur, but projects a completely different image as a professional; low energy player, poor body language, doesn't move with any urgency; in practice, looks disinterested, more interested in interacting with friends, agents, etc. outside the fence than teammates on the field; in games he's frequently questioning umpire calls, rolling eyes, etc.
None of this will be an issue if he produces.
30, platoon/bench player
Plus bat speed evident in practice; game swing much more tentative; early weight transfer causes hips to fly open, altering bat bath and hindering plate coverage; swing is very handsy, often casts hands away from body to reach for outside pitch, does not stay on the ball to drive it the other way; opposite field contact is often softly hit rather than driven to the gaps; feel for barrel is excellent and makes up for flaws in swing but also leads to lots of weak contact, lack of speed turns weak contact into outs more often than not; approach is passive, often letting the best pitch of the at-bat go by, does have a strong understanding of the strike zone; will not chase early, will expand when down in the count; struggles badly against same-side pitching, fails to recognize spin, flies open to cheat hands, significant possibility of platoon necessary.
Raw power is above-average (55), in game utility falls far short thanks to contact oriented approach; home run power is to pull side only, but does not attack pitches on the inner half, limiting his in-game over-the-fence power; does not generate backspin, more line-drive oriented approach will lead to power manifesting more in form of doubles than home runs.
A change in in-game approach could lead to average in-game power, but player has shown little change in approach over two separate looks over a year apart.
Slow foot speed, short, choppy steps, not a strong runner. 4.4-4.5 home to first base.
Strong defender at first base, footwork around the bag is improving; very good hands on throws in dirt, will save infielders errors throughout the season; enough lateral range to get the job done, charges aggressively on bunt plays.
Strong arm strength, left-handed thrower with quick release can be an asset on bunt plays, low-sling type motion can lead to errant throws but also allows for creative throwing angles while moving; overall a plus arm at first base.
Smith has a huge gap between raw skills and in-game utility. He has the raw tools to be a plus hitter with average power, but his extremely passive approach and desire for contact over power lead to a significant step back in how those tools present themselves in a game. He does not look to drive the ball, nor does he embrace the role of being a run producer, something which he will need to adjust as he is destined for a first base position where his bat will have to carry him. He's a strong defender at first base, but that won't be enough to make up for a lack of power, if it never comes to fruition.
In his first real taste of failure, Smith seems to be continually trying the same thing, only to find the same unsuccessful results. His issues identifying breaking balls from left-handed pitchers has been magnified this season, as he faces pitchers who can command breaking pitches consistently for the first time in his career. If he makes the necessary adjustments, he could turn into an slightly average major league hitter in the Yonder Alonso mold, though that would still lead to him being no better than average on the first base spectrum. Even with the proper adjustments, he may still struggle against left-handed pitching.
He is still extremely young, having not yet turned 20 and facing High-A competition, so some struggles are to be expected and there is platy of time to correct them. The lack of adjustment over the course of a year's worth of looks, however, is very concerning.