Shortstop Kevin Smith was drafted in the 4th round (129 overall) of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday. He is the first Terp to be drafted this year, and the highest Terp to go since Brandon Lowe went in the 3rd round, 87th overall, to Tampa Bay Rays in 2015.
A mainstay at shortstop during his three years in College Park, Smith started 176 of the Terps’ 184 games between 2015 and 2017. He solidified himself as an impact player both offensively and defensively, tallying at least 50 hits, seven homers and nine doubles in each of his three seasons while making flashy plays up the middle. He put up impressive power numbers, finishing his Maryland career in the top 10 all time in home runs (28) and RBIs (117), and ranking just outside the top 10 in extra-base hits (66) and runs scored (134).
Smith came to Maryland from Columbia High School in East Greenbush, New York, and stepped right onto the scene as a freshman. Starting in 65 games, he hit .273 with 14 doubles, seven homers and a team-best 11 stolen bases. His performance at the plate was good enough to earn him freshman All-American honors. As a sophomore in 2016, he continued to be a power threat, hitting .259 with a eight homers and a team-leading 95 total bases while again playing solid defense.
In the summer after his sophomore season, Smith jumped onto the national scene with a breakout performance for the Cape Cod League’s Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. He hit .301 with 14 RBIs, earning CCBL All-Star honors, and was named LCS MVP, as his 6-for-12, 3 RBI line in the playoffs helped lead the Red Sox to the league title. This strong summer performance garnered him with preseason All-American honors.
After a slow start to his junior season, Smith put together his finest offensive season to date, hitting .268 with a team-leading 13 homers, 48 RBIs and .552 slugging percentage. He came on strong in the playoffs, hitting .350 with 5 RBIs in the Big Ten Tournament to earn All-Tournament honors. His second-to-last game in a Terps uniform was perhaps his best at the plate. In a 16-2 rout of UMBC in the NCAA Regionals, Smith went 2-for-4 with a walk and a pair of three-run homers, setting a Maryland NCAA Tournament record with six RBIs.
Prior to the draft, Maryland Baseball Network’s Amy Jennings broke down Smith’s draft prospects.