MLB Draft Day 3: Houston Astros Select Lefty Ben Smith
The wheels have started to turn for the third and final day of the MLB Draft. Jeff Luhnow and his staff look to find diamonds in the rough as the draft progresses to later rounds and the pickings get slimmer.
Here’s an interesting pick:
Ben Smith (LHP), Coastal Carolina (SC), Round 17, Pick 496:
The Witchita Falls, Tex. native ranked 48th/51st respectively by Baseball America and CollegeBaseballDaily.com’s Top 100 and this left-handed pitcher’s strongest asset is his curveball bamboozling batters alike with the speed of his throwing arm.
This is also another one of our draft picks that just completed recovering from Tommy John surgery.
It has been said that his fastball is average and he can get it up to 93 mph when healthy with the speed sitting around 89 to 91 mph.
Smith played his college ball at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. His best season was in 2013, which was largely injury-free, where he appeared and started in 16 games for the Chanticleers earning 2.23 ERA in 92.2 innings of work. He fanned 83 batters and walked 53 while posting a 5-4 record.
This year, Smith did not get much play as he was recovering from the aforementioned injury. He still appeared and started in six games, earning a 2.51 ERA with a 1-3 record.
As smart as he is in the classroom as on the field, Smith did make the Dean’s List back last year.
It’s also notable that he doubled as a talented first baseman back at his high school alma mater — Rider High School. He helped Rider win a state championship and received numerous accolades for his work. He batted .366 with 44 RBI’s, seven doubles, four triples and two home runs for the Raiders.
What’s peculiar is how far this guy fell in the draft when he was projected to be picked in the top three rounds. Teams may have thought he had been marred after coming off the surgery.
No worries, another man’s loss is another man’s gain and the Astros look to capitalize off of this.
Here’s a scouting video from MLB.com with some additional, useful information:
I look forward to seeing how this pick pans out!