Detroit Tigers Draft Alabama RHP Dylan Smith

Alabama pitcher Dylan Smith throws against Florida during the SEC Tournament. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Tournament Alabama Vs Florida
Alabama pitcher Dylan Smith throws against Florida during the SEC Tournament. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Tournament Alabama Vs Florida /
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With the 74th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft the Detroit Tigers selected right-handed pitcher Dylan Smith from the University of Alabama.

After taking pitchers Jackson Jobe and Ty Madden with their first two picks, and Texas prep infielder Izaac Pacheco in the 2nd round, the Detroit Tigers returned to the mound with Dylan Smith, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Alabama.

Who is Dylan Smith?

Dylan Smith was one of the biggest risers in the draft this year, at least among college pitchers. In 2018 he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 18th round out of Stafford High School in Texas. He honored his commitment to Alabama, though, and spent his first two seasons with the Crimson Tide pitching out of the bullpen. He did make one start in 2020, but then the season was canceled.

He moved into the Alabama rotation in 2021, and he took over as their Friday night starter when possible 2022 first-rounder Connor Prielipp when down with an injury. He went just 2-8, but he was terrific in that role, finishing among the SEC leaders in strikeouts and strikeout-to-walk-ratio.

Dylan Smith Stats

Dylan Smith Scouting Report

Strengths
Dylan Smith stands out most for his athleticism and strike-throwing ability. He does offer four distinct pitches, led by a fastball that sits in the low-90s and will touch as high as 96MPH. His low-mid-80s slider has a chance to be an above-average offering for him, and his curveball and changeup both project as average pitches. Given his frame (6’2, 180 lbs.) and short track record there is hope he can get larger and throw harder in pro ball.

Weaknesses

That short track record also offers a bit of risk, and he doesn’t really have a present plus pitch. He put up strong stats overall this season, but he did a lot of his damage against lesser teams. He was a bit homer prone, and he gave up at least three earned runs in 8 of his 11 SEC starts.

Irresponsible Dylan Smith Player Comp

There’s not an immediate player comparison that jumps out with Dylan Smith, but his size, above-average control, and mix of average pitches is reminiscent of Detroit Tigers prospect Paul Richan. Richan went 78th overall to the Chicago Cubs in the 2018 draft and came over to the Tigers in the Nick Castellanos deal.

Draft Pick Analysis

The Detroit Tigers needed to add pitching depth to their system this year and they’ve done that so far. Dylan Smith is a solid value at this point in the draft. Baseball America ($) ranked him 56th overall while, while FanGraphs had him 69th, and  MLB Pipeline had him at exactly 74. With his current stuff he projects as a back-end starter or swingman at the MLB level, but there’s unusual upside here for a college arm, and he could develop into something more.

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