Speedy outfielders seem to continually be in the eyes of Milwaukee Brewers front office. Smith is yet another example. Currently he is consistently hitting leadoff for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Prior to this year he was with the Atlanta Braves, where he hit .238. He then got traded twice in a day over the offseason. The first one sent him to Seattle, then a few hours later he was a Ray. It has been great for his career. He is hitting .320 on the year.
Before any of that he was taken in the 13th round of the 2011 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He did not sign in favor of Santa Fe College. One year later, the San Diego Padres drafted him and he signed. That selection came in the fifth round.
In total, the 24 year old Smith has already been traded three times. He was involved in the deal that sent Justin Upton to the Padres and Drew Smyly to the Mariners. Smith has proven to be a big part of the Rays lineup this year as well. His value has been known for years, it was just a question of when.
Had Smith decided to join the Milwaukee Brewers, the outfield would be pretty packed. Between Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, and the top two prospects being outfielders, it is pretty busy. But that would be a good problem to have.
Smith has the kind of speed that makes the difference in a lineup. To miss out on him by a year hurts, but the organization has done a good job collecting other outfield prospects for the future. One player isn’t going to make or break anything, especially with Smith being so young. But he would certainly be a nice piece to have during this push to win a division.