There is one prospect in the New York Yankees farm system that is not going to wow you with anything, but he’s going to make a consistent positive impact wherever he goes. That prospect is the New York Yankees second-round pick from last year’s draft, Josh Smith. Smith was drafted in the second round out of LSU after an incredibly impressive 2019 season with the Tigers. Smith is the type of player that just has a great feel for the game. He has all the intangibles to make him a valuable player at the MLB level. He’s the type of guy who is going to give pitchers headaches because he’s always battling at the plate. He’s not going to make your jaw drop, but if you’re on the opposite side, you’re not going to be a fan of his because he’s going to be a constant pain in your side. He makes great contact and makes all the plays he needs to defensively at shortstop. His speed will keep you honest when he’s on the bases and he displays his great baseball IQ when he’s on the field. 2019 was a season that stood out for Smith and should give Yankees fans hope for their 18th ranked prospect.
Josh Smith had an incredible year at LSU in 2019. He leads LSU in all three slash categories (.346/.433/.533) and he played really good defense at short. On top of his hitting, Smith stole 20 bases for the Tigers. After being drafted by the New York Yankees, Smith found himself in Staten Island playing in the minors and his great season didn’t stop there. In 33 games with the Staten Island Yankees, Smith hit an impressive .324 and drove home 15 RBIs. More impressive to me is his IQ when he’s at the plate. Smith walked an incredible 25 times in 33 games which along with his average gave him an OBP of .450 in his first taste of minor league action. Smith is not going to wow you with power, but he’s the type of guy who is going to have a really good batting average and a very good OBP. Smith projects to me to be the kind of guy who can sit near the top of any major league lineup if he continues to progress. He’s going to get on base and his speed will always be a threat. I’m really excited to see what the future holds for Josh Smith.
When the season does get started, I just want to see Smith continue to stay consistent. If he continues to put numbers up as he has, he will likely advance through the system rather quickly. I want to see the Yankees move him around the infield a little to see where he projects long term. I don’t know if I think he will stay at short, but wherever he ends up, I think he’ll be at least an average defender. Smith is a guy that I’m incredibly impressed with and I’m excited to see in 2020. He’s the type of guy who is always going to show up to the park and give it everything he has. In a way, he reminds me a lot of Brett Gardner. A guy who is just going to show up with no excuses and play with everything that he has. I think the Yankees might have gotten a steal with their second-round pick last year, and I think Smith is going to show people that as time goes on.