Seemingly trapped in a logjam of young, exciting outfielders, Seth Smith may not get his due as one of the team’s most exciting young stars, but after his coming out party in 2009, fans would be remiss not to include him in any conversation about the team’s bright future.
Now 27, it took Smith the better part of three years to make a name for himself at the big league level, having made two previous trips up to the Rockies. That said, his minor league stats are nothing to scoff at.
Never known as a pure power hitter or as a speed demon on the base paths, Smith may have fallen through the cracks as a high-profile prospect. He did, however, consistently hit in the minor leagues with a high average and moderate power numbers.
In just under 2,300 minor league at-bats, Smith carries a .313 aggregate batting average, a .379 on base percentage with over 250 extra base hits. Jumping to the big club full time in 2009, he certainly didn’t fail to impress.
In 335 at-bats, Smith reached base at a .371 clip and hit a crisp .293 mostly as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter. He also impressed with his power, mashing 15 home runs and 20 doubles over the course of the season. If it weren’t for a slump in May that saw his average drop from .324 to .256, those numbers might be even more remarkable.
The only impediment standing in Smith’s way of becoming a force in Colorado’s lineup is the talent that surrounds him. Brad Hawpe, Dexter Fowler, and Carlos Gonzalez are seen as the clear starters in the outfield and veteran Ryan Spilborghs will require time as well.
If Smith can break into the lineup on a consistent basis, and given his performance so far, there’s nothing to say he can’t. Smith could make a splash this year.