Yankees Prospect Profile: Get to Know Josh Smith
By Adam Weinrib
Get to know New York Yankees prospect and 2019 draftee Josh Smith out of LSU.
This Yankees prospect was absolutely built from the right mold.
The New York Yankees could always use more versatility at the big league level, and they lost a prospect with that exact profile in 2018 when they chose Thairo Estrada over Nick Solak and went for Brandon Drury. Ehh, maybe not the best allocation of resources.
Luckily, the Yankees drafted a perfectly legitimate option in the second round in 2019 when they pulled the trigger on LSU’s Josh Smith, whose NYY career has been short, but distinguished.
Selected with the 67th overall pick last June, Smith was targeted for a promotion to High-A Tampa this year after tearing up Staten Island during 2019 action, hitting .323 with a trio of homers in 33 games as a 22-year-old. The diminutive Smith, weighing in at 5-10 and 172 pounds, has been a second baseman first throughout his brief professional tenure, but played third base collegiately, and profiles as someone who fits in just about anywhere on the diamond. His final season at LSU, after shaking off a 2018 season marred by back discomfort, was exemplary. Smith notched a team-high .346 batting average, 47 doubles, 9 homers, 41 RBI and 20 stolen bases in a breakout season in the nick of time.
And, better yet, the Yankees were the team that he had every intention of being drafted by.
“When you get drafted by the Yankees, it was a dream for me and my family,” Smith told the Tiger Rag after Spring Training action was suspended. “I got to put on the pinstripes and sign the contract. That was just a dream come true. All of the hard work my family’s put in for me, that was really cool. To see that come into existence was awesome. Once I got to Staten Island to play, it was just like I was a little kid again.”
Of course, Smith’s spring ended far before he had any intention to quit grinding, due to forces well outside his control.
When he’s able to resume action, his quick-twitch bat will ideally play up and send him on a swift path through the minor-league ranks, as evidenced by his intended destination for Opening Day. Clearly, the Yankees have no intention of letting him take a while to get acclimated to each level.
Bottom line: this is a fit, and this is a winning ballplayer. We can’t wait to follow his journey, from a college program of extreme pedigree to the pros.