Mallex Smith is my favorite prospect in the Braves organization. Why? Is it his consistent contact bat? His blazing fast speed? It’s hard not to love the way Smith plays the game. I see so much of Michael Bourn in this kid.
Acquired in the Justin Upton trade, Smith appears to be the Center Fielder of the future for Atlanta. He may be one of the most underrated prospects in all of baseball. In 2014, Smith swiped 88 bases over two levels of play, leading the Minor Leagues in steals. He also had a .310 average and a .403 on-base percentage. Not too shabby.
Smith impressed once again for AA Mississippi in his first year in the Braves Organization, hitting .340 in 241 ABs (tied for best average in Southern League) with a .418 on-base percentage (2nd best in Southern League) and 23 steals (3rd in Southern League). This was good enough for Smith to be named a Southern League All-Star, and earned him a promotion to Gwinnett just a week ago. Smith is hitting just 4-for-22 since joining AAA Gwinnett, but there’s a learning curve, which is a small sample size. If Smith can continue to get on-base at such a high rate and steal bases, he could become one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. That is why Smith continues to skyrocket up our prospect list. Smith was ranked 7th overall in our June update.
I had the pleasure of exchanging some brief words with Smith at a Braves function in the offseason, and he seemed to be a humble guy and showed a high level of professionalism. Personally, I cannot wait until this kid makes it to the show. This could be as early as this season, but I can see him making the roster out of Spring Training in 2016. He’s still just 22 years old. He has been the most intriguing prospect to watch in a bolstered Braves’ farm system, and I think he has the potential to be an All-Star Center Fielder in the MLB.