Back in 2017, the New York Yankees drafted a kid out of Texas that was known for his incredible eye at the plate. Canaan Smith was a top prospect coming out of Texas where he drew 57 walks in his senior season for Rockwall-Heath High School. This walk total was good for the ninth-highest total in US history. We all know that the Yankees love guys who grind their way through at-bats, which is why the New York Yankees decided to take Smith in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. Smith has all the potential in the world to be a threat at the plate. Smith has a great eye, good bat speed, and solid strength which makes him a dangerous hitter. He’s a decent runner and average defensively from the outfield. I think he has the potential to develop into a pretty nice left fielder as he continues to progress. 2018 was a struggle for Smith, but 2019 was a huge bounce back season which vaulted Smith to the 21st spot in the Yankees top 30 prospects.
Bounce Back 2019
I mentioned that Smith was dangerous at the plate, well in 2019 he definitely showed it. After batting a pitiful .191 in 2018, Smith found himself in the top three of average, OBP, OPS, and walks last year with Charleston. In 124 games, Smith hit .307 and had an OPS of .871. He drove home 74 runs and walked 74 times. Smith did a fantastic job of driving the ball last year. He showed off his bat speed and his compact swing. One of the impressive things about last year was his ability to drive the ball. Smith is the type of guy who could threaten 25-30 home runs if he progresses down the path he’s currently on. His ability to battle at the plate is why he has such a high OBP. Like he did in high school, he led the South Atlantic League in walks last year. Smith has a great eye for pitch recognition, and it will definitely make him a big time threat moving forward. Smith won’t wow you with his speed, but he did swipe 16 bags in 20 attempts last year.
A little fine tuning
Smith is the type of prospect that is flying under the radar at the moment. I think he definitely has the tools to become an impact player at the MLB level. His eye and his ability to hit the ball will carry him through the minors. I think one of the things that were big for me last year was seeing Smith’s ability to change some things up and rebound after that rough 2018 campaign. Canaan Smith is definitely an interesting prospect and one that fits the mold the Yankees love to see in their minor league guys. He has great plate discipline already which is a huge plus for a guy who is just 20. If Smith continues to progress and clean up some of the other parts of his game, he could become one of the better prospects in the Yankees system.