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TopProspectAlert.com Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home


Top Prospect Alert - Bud Smith

By Robert Sherry

Bud Smith: Following in the footsteps of Ankiel, Smith was the latest Cardinals pitcher to have a dominate season in the minors in 2000.

Selected in the fourth round of the 1998 draft out of Los Angeles JC, Smith had his best pro season in 2000 pitching for both Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Memphis. At Arkansas, Smith was probably the second best pitching prospect (only behind Oswalt) as he posted a 12-1 record with a  2.32 ERA in 18 starts (3 CG 3 SHO, 108.2 IP, 93 H, 27 BB, and 102 SO). He also had two seven-inning no-hitters. Once me was promoted to the Redbirds, he kept on winning games, going 5-1 in nine games (2.15 ERA, 8 GS,  54.1 IP, 40 H, 15 BB 34 SO), and go to pitch in the Triple-A World Series.

At 6-foot and 170 pounds, Smith doesn't project to be the No. 1 starter like Ankiel, but he should become a very good pitcher, probably in the No. 2-3 spot of the Cardinals rotation. For a pitcher who will only 21 during the season, Smith is very composed on the mound. He has a very good change as his best pitch, followed by a curve and fastball. Smith's fastball is his worst pitch, topping out at 89 MPH, but the velocity doesn't concern me too much as me mixes it well with the curve and change.

You should look for Smith going back to the PCL to open the new season to get in a few more starts before being called up for good, probably a couple of months into the seasons. The current rotation of Ankiel, Kile, Hermanson, and Stephenson, Smith won't have the pressure to have to do well instantly.


 

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