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.
|162 Game Avg.||162||425||63||101||7||50||36||18||45||108||.238||.316||.365||.681||83|