A third round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Marcus Smith is rewarding the Oakland Athletics for their decision to add him to the organization.
It was not a mystery as to why Marcus Smith slipped down the board in the 2019 MLB Draft. He had a commitment to the University of Michigan, and it was expected that he would honor that pledge. Nonetheless, the Oakland Athletics took a chance, selecting Smith in the third round following his record setting high school career.
As it turned out, that commitment was not nearly as strong as one would have thought. The A’s managed to sign Smith for a $400,000 bonus, under the signing slot for a third round pick. With his bonus in hand, Smith was sent to the Arizona League, beginning his professional career.
Smith made the A’s decision to select him look brilliant. He dominated with the Gold, producing a .361/.466/.443 batting line, hitting six doubles and a triple. In his 119 plate appearances, he struck out 29 times while drawing an impressive 20 walks.
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At this point, Smith fits the profile of a future leadoff hitter. His swing is more line drive oriented, using the gaps well to put his speed to use. That speed is his best asset, helping him show solid range around the outfield, especially in center. As he learns to use his speed on the basepaths better, he should begin running more, becoming more of a stolen base threat.
As Smith moves forward, he is not likely to become a power threat. He does have gap power, where his speed can lead to plenty of doubles and triples. It is possible that he will eventually hit a handful of homers each year, but his speed and ability to make solid contact are far more likely to be his calling cards.
Obviously, there is a long way to go before Smith is even considered at the major league level. However, after his impressive showing, one can understand if the A’s were bullish on his future. Should he continue to hit the way he did in 2019, and take those steps forward in utilizing his speed, Smith could end up rocketing through the minors.
The Oakland Athletics took a chance on Marcus Smith in the 2019 MLB Draft. Thus far, they have been rewarded for doing so.