The same program that produced DJ LeMahieu years ago has once again birthed a fantastic young prospect in New York Yankees second-round pick from 2019, Josh Smith.
The LSU product had a fantastic first season as a senior, slashing .346/.433/.533, leading his team in all three categories. However, his first season with the Yankees’ Low-A ball team was even more impressive (.324/.450/.477). All of his college numbers came among one of the best divisions, often referred to as the toughest competition from talent scouts, the Southeastern Conference.
Smith’s appeal transferred nicely over to the Yankees’ NY-Penn League team, and he’s one of those pesky young infielders that could climb the ranks rather quickly. As a lefty bat, Smith brings diversity to the batting order and offers the Bomber’s an option down the line if they so choose. We can assume he won’t reach the MLB for a few years, but he’s a young star to keep an eye on.
Where does Josh Smith play for the New York Yankees?
The Yanks have Smith featuring in the shortstop position elusively for Staten Island, but he has the versatility to play in numerous spots as a utility option. In college, he played at third base, and scouts even considered him a second base option. The diversity of his defensive abilities makes him an even more attractive prospect, and the Bombers could move him around to help develop his attributes.
5â€™10â€³ / 172lbs.
MLB PipelineÂ Scouting grades:Â Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
MLb Pipeline stated… â€œmakes consistent contact from the left side of the plate, using the entire field and managing the strike zone. He has solid raw power and drives the ball enough to hit 15 or more homers on an annual basis, and he also has solid to plus speed and knows how to use it on the bases.â€
Smithâ€™s instincts also are apparent on defense, giving him a chance to stay at shortstop even if many scouts project him as a second baseman in the Majors. He provides steady glovework at shortstop with reliable hands and enough arm to make the necessary throws. He may not have a true plus tool, but he has no obvious holes in his game and should become at least a utilityman.
At just 22-years-old, Smith can rise through the ranks quickly. Keep a close eye on him throughout the 2020 season, as he could end up in High-A ball similar to Deivi Garcia’s progression in 2019.