Monday, February 07, 2005

Sean Smith Report

Sean Smith, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Drafted 487th Overall (16th Rd), 2001 draft, Sacramento CC
Bats R/Throws R
21 YO, 6'4", 180 lbs

Smith was a coveted draft and follow for the Indians, signed in 2002 to a $1.1 million bonus after he impressed scouts with his JuCo performance. Since then he's risen slowly through the Indians system, ending 2004 in the Carolina League, shut down with a forearm injury. He spent most of the season repeating his 2003 performance in the Sally League, with a 3.39 ERA, 48 strikeouts, 28 walks, and 50 hits in 61 innings. For his career, he stands with a 3.73 ERA, 186 strikeouts, 111 walks, 193 hits, and 22 home runs allowed in 225 innings. He's hard to get good contact on, witnessed by his hits allowed and strikeouts. And his control is improving, though he still has a ways to go.

I'm told by friend who watched him a couple times at Lake County that he worked mostly in the low 90's with a couple of decent secondary pitches. that meshes with what his pre-draft scouting report said, so he hasn't seen a big development curve. He could be in for a nice career if he can throw more strikes, but that's a road where he has plenty of company. As I've mentioned in the Ambriorix Burgos, Dave Aardsma, and Joel Zumaya reports, control problems are among my biggest pet peeves in pitching prospects. Improvement in that area is so unpredictable. Some pitchers, like Randy Johnson, correct a small mechanical flaw, and they become dominant (or at least become Matt Clement). The majority of them barely make a dent in their weaknesses or break down physically before they can make the adjustments. Some just live with spotty control, like Kerry Wood.

ETA: 2008
2 1/2 Stars

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