Drew Smyly Gets More Recognition
By John Verburg
After a great season in which Detroit Tigers prospect Drew Smyly went 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA, his mantle has got to be getting cluttered with hardware at this point. Well, there probably isn’t any actual trophy in this case, but the recognition of Smyly’s potential keeps on coming in. Smyly, who was already named the Tigers organizational Pitcher of the Year, has made another quality list of recognition, this time it comes from Baseball America’s top 20 prospect lists.
Smyly was ranked today as the 16th best prospect in the Florida State League by Baseball America. Smyly spent much of his season in the FSL with the Lakeland Tigers before making his way to AA Erie at the end of the season for 8 appearances, 7 of which were starts. Given that the Rays, Phillies, Mets, Twins and Blue Jays among others have teams in this league, it is a pretty good accomplishment.
Smyly, a tall left-hander at 6’3″, isn’t known for having a blazing fastball. Although he can touch 92-93 mph, he relies more on movement with a cutter, a curve and a change. He also has a good ability to pound the ball low in the zone, and he does tend to be more of a ground ball pitcher.
Judging from the seasons that the players on Lakeland had, and the chat that accompanies BA’s list, it doesn’t sound like any other Lakeland Flying Tigers were close to making the list. Avisail Garcia and Daniel Fields were mentioned, however, there is too much rawness and swing and miss in both of their games at this point to be considered for lists like these.
I will continue to keep people informed of the guys that make these lists for the Tigers. The Eastern League is scheduled for tomorrow, and I assume that Jacob Turner may have a spot on that list.
*As a side note, these lists do have quite a bit of legitimacy in their forecasting of major league talent. Baseball America shows their lists from 5 years ago, and the majority of the players on the lists have spent some time in the big leagues, and often they are really good players.