The Diamondbacks reassigned Smith to minor-league camp.
Smith performed well in his first major-league camp, going 8-for-21 (.381) with one extra-base hit, two walks, two RBI and two runs scored over 13 Cactus League games. After a full season at Double-A Jackson, it seems that Smith will make the next logical progression to Triple-A Reno in 2020, but Kevin Cron is already on hand to play first base for the Aces. Smith's been remarkably consistent over his first three professional seasons, but his power numbers aren't what one might expect from a first baseman. He added more gap power in 2019 and could benefit from the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in 2020.
Smith will join the Diamondbacks' big-league camp this spring.
Smith isn't likely to break camp with the team, but he's not far from pushing for a roster spot. He spent 2019 at Double-A Jackson, hitting .291/.370/.466.
Smith went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI in High-A Visalia's 7-3 win over Modesto on Sunday.
Smith is hitting just .245 on the campaign, but the first baseman's bat seems to be coming around now that he's had some time to adjust to California League pitching. The 22-year-old has delivered five multi-hit games in his last 13 starts, netting a .327/.368/.423 slash line over that span.
Smith is slashing .216/.332/.359 with five home runs and two stolen bases across 196 plate appearances for High-A Visalia this season.
Smith, the Diamondbacks' top overall selection in the 2017 first-year player draft, has been a disappointment thus far in his first taste of full-season ball. Though he has supplied two of his home runs in the last three games, Smith's .143 ISO for the season is still well below the threshold organizations typically look for from corner-infield prospects. While Smith's hit tool and excellent plate discipline more so than his power were the main draws when he came out of the University of Virginia, a .225 BABIP has mostly undermined the strengths of his batting profile. For all his struggles, the 22-year-old remains one of the top hitting prospects in the organization, but his standing in dynasty formats has probably dropped from where it was in the spring.
Smith went hitless across three at-bats for High-A Visalia in its 3-1 loss to Lancaster on Thursday. The first baseman is now slashing .171/.275/.329 with three home runs and two steals across 80 plate appearances this season.
With a stellar 0.71 BB/K, Smith is still demonstrating the patient eye at the plate that prompted the Diamondbacks to draft him seventh overall last summer, but a 43.1 percent groundball rate has limited the impact of his contact to date. While a .180 BABIP suggests a major turnaround in Smith's average could come, the dearth of power the 22-year-old has exhibited thus far in the pro ranks has put something of a damper on his long-term outlook in dynasty settings. After failing to hit a home run in short-season ball last season, Smith has now gone deep just three times in his first 302 plate appearances in affiliated ball. That sort of slugging production from a first base-only prospect simply won't cut it at the major-league level.
Smith opened the year at High-A Visalia, going 0-for-4 with a walk, a run and a strikeout against Rancho Cucamonga.
After hitting .318/.401/.415 in 195 at-bats in the Northwest League, Smith skipped Low-A entirely, opening the year in the hitter-friendly California League. Everyone knows Smith can hit, the question he will have to answer in the coming years is whether or not he can hit for enough power to profile as an everyday first baseman or left fielder. The Cal League could help in that regard, but it will also be a significant jump in competition for the 22-year-old.
Smith went 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in a playoff game for short-season Hillsboro on Thursday.
It was the first professional home run for Smith in what will likely be his final appearance of the minor-league season, as Hillsboro was eliminated from the Northwest League postseason after losing to Eugene in a best-of-three series. The first baseman, who the Diamondbacks nabbed with the seventh overall pick in the first-year player draft back in June, finished the regular season at Hillsboro with .318/.401/.415 slash line. The Diamondbacks remain hopeful that the 21-year-old will tap into more power production as he ages and adds strength, which would only enhance his future fantasy outlook.
Smith went 5-for-5 with a double and triple for short-season Hillsboro on Tuesday.
The No. 7 overall pick out of Virginia has certainly made a strong impression in his first taste of professional ball, with Tuesday's five-hit effort boosting his line to .373/.429/.458 over 91 plate appearances. Given his high pedigree and status as a polished college bat, Smith was fully expected to rake at Hillsboro, so it's unlikely he'll stick around with the short-season affiliate for much longer. Until Smith faces more advanced pitching in the upper levels of the minors, it may be difficult to make a strong assessment of the 21-year-old's potential MLB outlook.