From the Field: Mallex Smith, of, Atlanta Braves

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Mallex Lydell Smith was drafted by the Padres in the 5th round of the 2012 draft out of Santa Fe Community College (Gainesville, FL).

He was projected to be a speedster on the bases…and if everything panned out a prototypical regular center fielder and leadoff man. But his speed was his only realized tool, and the rest of his game was a little bit of a project.

He was the Padres #28 prospect in 2013 and #16 in 2015. He bat really came around after a couple seasons in the minors, and he was a monster on the base paths. Weirdly, he was still projected to be just an average center fielder due to his weak arm. Power was never part of his game…but with his speed and good strike zone awareness that was fine. He led the minors in stolen bases in 2014 with 88 (!) and got his first organizational All-Star award.

Smith was part of the Padres-Braves Justin Upton trade of 2015.

He would have a fantastic 2015 in the Braves system, earning organizational minor league player of the year award. He improved all aspects of his game–including his defense. He was seen as a young Michael Bourn, and a long term answer for the Braves in center field.

Smith would make the big league club in 2016, and in 189 at bats go .238/.316/.681 with 16 SB. Not great numbers…but…not terrible, especially for a young players first taste in the majors. He should stick with the Braves in 2017, and I am thinking he will have a long career, especially in the National League.

Year Age Tm Lg G AB R H HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2012 19 SDP-min Rk,A- 35 128 29 39 2 15 17 4 11 27 .305 .366 .383 .749
2013 20 SDP-min A 110 424 81 111 4 29 64 16 59 84 .262 .367 .340 .707
2014 21 SDP-min A,A+,Fal 135 536 111 166 5 36 92 26 80 115 .310 .403 .422 .825
2015 22 ATL-min AAA,AA 125 479 82 145 1 33 56 13 51 83 .303 .371 .378 .749
2016 23 ATL-min AA,AAA 8 31 9 13 0 4 4 1 4 8 .419 .500 .613 1.113
2016 23 ATL NL 72 189 28 45 3 22 16 8 20 48 .238 .316 .365 .681 83
1 Yr 72 189 28 45 3 22 16 8 20 48 .238 .316 .365 .681 83
162 Game Avg. 162 425 63 101 7 50 36 18 45 108 .238 .316 .365 .681 83
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/23/2016.
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