Atlanta Braves Top 100 Prospects: #9 Mallex Smith
Atlanta Braves Outfielder Mallex Smith
Who Is He?
Mallex Smith was a 5th round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2012 out of Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida. In his draft season, he moved quickly through the Padres’ Arizona Rookie League team and to their short-season A-ball team in the Northwest League. Overall, he hit .305/.365/.383 in 146 plate appearances, showing great speed with 17 stolen bases, and decent patience with 11 walks as well.
The Padres moved him up to their full-season A-ball team in the Midwest League in Fort Wayne. He shuffled a bit, putting up a .262/.367/.340 line with 64 stolen bases in 80 attempts while showing home run power, with 4, but oddly little other extra base hits with 19 total doubles and triples in 111 hits.
He started 2014 with Fort Wayne again, and he showed much better bat control, and he moved up to high-A Lake Elsinore in the Cal League. Overall, he posted a .310/.403/.432 line between the two levels with 88 stolen bases in 114 attempts along with 29 doubles, 7 triples, and 5 home runs. He was sent to the fall league, and he showed very well there, hitting .305/.408/.339 with 4 stolen bases and 11/12 BB/K ratio over 72 plate appearances. The Braves acquired Smith in the Justin Upton trade.
Next: Smith's scouting report
The Braves started Smith at AA Mississippi, and he exploded out of the gate, hitting .340/.418/.413 in April/May in Mississippi before his promotion to Gwinnett. He hit well in his first month with Gwinnett, but from July 4th until August 3rd, Smith hit a wall, going .221/.275/.274 and striking out 16 times over 95 at bats. He picked up his contact rate in August, though the strikeout rate remained high the rest of the season. Overall on the season, Smith hit .306/.373/.386 with 57 stolen bases in 70 attempts. He walked 9.3% of his plate apperances and struck out in 15.5% of his plate appearances.