As we continue to work our way through the prospect list we reach another player who made it to the majors last year, Drew Smith (joining Jacob Rhame, PJ Conlon, and Gerson Bautista, earlier entries in this series). Drew Smith was traded to the Mets from the Rays in the trade that sent Lucas Duda away in 2017. Like pretty much everyone else the Mets got in the 2017 sell off, Drew Smith throws some serious heat.
Before we get into how he did in 2018, lets review his 2017. He was traded multiple times (the first time occurring in April between the Tigers and the Rays) thus he played for 5 different minor league teams across three levels of ball including the Lakeland Tigers (High A), Charlotte Intimidators (High A), Montgomery Biscuits (AA), Durham Bulls (AAA), and the Binghamton Mets (now Rumble Ponies) (AA). I don’t nearly have the amount of time necessary to figure this out but being on 5 different teams plus minor league promotion nights, I would assume Smith wore a record or near record amount of different uniforms in 2017.
Overall in 20176 he posted a 1.65 ERA across 42 games and 60.0 innings. With those numbers he was a lock to play in Las Vegas at some point in 2018 with a high chance of being called to the majors and an outside chance of starting the season in the majors with a strong spring training (which didn’t happen).
Across Binghamton and Las Vegas this season Smith performed well posting a 3.16 ERA in 25 games and 37.0 innings including a 3.31 ERA over 32.2 innings in Las Vegas where it felt like Mets pitchers struggled more at than usual last season (probably a combination of normal pitching problems in Vegas and players being jerked around all over the system).
Smith got the call up this year and handled it well. In his rookie year he pitched in 27 games with the Mets, 28.0 innings posting a 3.54 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 1.429 WHIP and 105 ERA+. The WHIP speaks mostly to how you probably remember watching him play in 2018, with runners always on base, but he didn’t let it effect him too much.
This was a great step for Smith. I’m excited to see what he brings to the team next year especially with how much help the Mets need in the bullpen vs how much they end up getting this off-season. If the Mets wise up and overhaul the bullpen, there is a chance Drew starts in the minors this year or is competing for a spot on the roster in Spring. If the Mets only sign 1-2 players for the pen, he’ll “compete” for a spot but will almost will definitely get it.