According to Jamie Campbell, Kevin Smith will be joining the Blue Jays in Washington on Wednesday. Presumably, he’ll be on the team and active for the second of the team’s two-game series with the Nationals.
Source: Kevin Smith to join #BlueJays in Washington on Wednesday.
— Jamie Campbell (@SNETCampbell) August 18, 2021
Smith has put together a huge season for the Triple-A Bisons in 2021, ultimately earning him “CALL HIM UP” status for a good chunk of the year.
Originally a fourth-round pick from the 2017 draft, Smith quickly put himself on the map as a prospect in 2018 by dominating Low-A and then getting called up and doing well in High-A. He came into the 2019 season as a Top-100 prospect, ranked No. 91 by Baseball America, and totally fell off a cliff playing in Double-A, slashing just a .209/.263/.402 line.
The reason for his struggles had to do with a change he made to his swing ahead of the 2019 season. In 2020, when the minor leagues were on hiatus due to COVID, Smith did work at the Blue Jays’ Alternate Training Site to reverse his swing to where it was before he made the change, and the results have been excellent.
In 82 games for the Thunder-Bisons in 2021, Smith is slashing a .286/.371/.576 line with 19 home runs and 23 doubles and he has a 40-to-83 walk-to-strikeout ratio.
Though mostly a shortstop, Smith has seen time at third base and in left and right field this season in Triple-A. The hope here is that he can give the team a spark offensively while also offering positional versatility with quality defence.
The question now is who’s coming off the roster in favour of Smith.
When George Springer went on the Injured List yesterday, many assumed Smith would be the guy coming up, but he wasn’t yet on the 40-man roster, and the team rolled with Otto Lopez, a prospect who was. Given Rafael Dolis’ horrendous performance last night, it might be the end of the line for him. I would guess we see Dolis get DFA’d, Lopez go down, Smith added, and another pitcher, such as Thomas Hatch, come up as well.