Red Sox take NAIA right-hander Myles Smith in fourth round

June 07, 2013 - 10:15 am
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With their fourth-round selection, the Red Sox tabbed 6-foot-1 right-hander Myles Smith out of Lee University, an NAIA school in Tennessee. Smith went 11-4 with a 2.67 ERA, 94 strikeouts and 38 walks in 84 1/3 innings. Smith has been on something of a college odyssey. He started at the University of Missouri, transferred to Miami Dade junior college as a sophomore (where he went 8-2 with a 2.78 ERA, 67 strikeouts and 21 walks in 77 2/3 innings) and then went to Lee. He lacks the size that the Sox typically prize in their pitching prospects, but Smith's stuff reportedly played up with Lee. After working mostly in the low-90s at Dade, he bumped up into the mid-90s as a junior at Lee. Here's the Baseball America description: "A Detroit native, Smith began his career at Missouri, occasionally hitting the low 90s as a freshman reliever in 2011. He transferred to Miami Dade JC last season and ran his fastball up to 94 mph to go with a good changeup, and the Mets drafted him in the 16th round. Smith didn't sign and expected to transfer to Miami, but he wound up at Lee (Tenn.), an NAIA power. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder had a dominant season (11-3, 1.51) and has improved since junior college. Smith's breaking ball remains his third pitch, but when he throws it harder it morphs into a useful cutter, scraping the upper 80s. His velocity is more consistently in the 91-95 mph range this spring, touching 97, and the changeup is a plus pitch with late fade. Smith has a chance to go out in the first three rounds." Via twitter, John Manuel of Baseball America suggested that Smith made a "big jump up late in the spring with the quality of his cutter; heard it up to 87-90 mph. [G]ave him a breaking ball." Through four rounds, the Sox have taken a high school left-hander, one junior college right-hander, one NAIA right-hander and a high school catcher -- leaving the more easily projected major conference college talents to a later spot in the draft.