With the sixth overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, the Mets selected – wait for it – righty reliever Burch Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Smith missed two years with TJ surgery but returned to play at three levels in 2017. He fanned 19 batters in 16.1 IP at Triple-A Durham last year. Smith played in the Arizona Fall League and in 20.1 IP over six games, he fanned 29 batters.
He also allowed 11 BB in those 20.1 IP.
This year for Durham, he allowed 17 GB compared to 16 FB. But in the AFL he had twice as many fly ball outs. Could be nothing more than a small sample item. But it’s enough to make you notice, especially as he had a 12.5 HR/FB rate for Durham. He did not allow a homer in the AFL.
Another thing to notice is that Smith was used as a starting pitcher this fall. In his last four appearance, he notched 4 IP each time out. Smith allowed 2 ER in his last 16 IP, after allowing 7 ER in his first 4.1 IP over two appearances in Arizona.
The Mets’ roster stood at 39 going into the draft, allowing them to make this selection. They’ll still have to make a roster move once the signing of Anthony Swarzak becomes official.
Nobody from the Mets was selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. However, in the Triple-A phase, the Mets lost LHP Jose Medina to the Padres.