This is the first types of these articles that I hope to do every two weeks or so throughout the season. The first one is on arguably the best pitcher in the Midwest League this season, Josh Smith. Smith leads the league in strikeouts by 13 (over teammate Daniel Renken and by 14 over teammate Daniel Corcino) and also boasts an ERA of 1.78 on the year.

Scouting background

Pitches:  Fastball, curveball and change up. His fastball as a starter works 89-91 and can touch 93 at times. As a reliever he worked slightly higher than that (2010). His curveball is tight with good break that he can throw anywhere from the low 70’s to about 81 MPH. It is an above average pitch today and is a legit out pitch. His change up seems like a solid pitch that he throws in the upper 70’s.

Mechanics: Smith’s mechanics looked a little cleaner than I recalled them being out of the bullpen in 2010, but I still wonder if they are conducive to starting in the long run.

Game information

The game that I observed from Josh Smith was from April 23, 2011 against the Great Lakes Loons. Smith threw 6 shutout innings with just 2 hits allowed, no walks and he struck out 4 batters. You can see the box score for the game here.

Game breakdown

Here is the pitch by pitch breakdown of the game:

Pitch Type Target? Result Position Notes
1 FB Hit Called strike Low, middle
2 FB Hit Ball Low, in
3 FB Miss Foul Low, in
4 CV Hit Swinging strike Low, outside corner
5 FB Miss Ball Low, way in
6 FB Miss Ball Low, way in
7 CH Hit Double Middle, Middle
8 FB Hit Called strike Middle, outside corner
9 FB Miss Ball Low, in
10 CV Miss Ball Low, in
11 CH Hit Ground out, 1B Middle, in May have been poor CV
12 FB Miss Ball Low, outside
13 CV Hit Called strike Low, outside corner
14 FB Miss Long foul ball Up, Middle
15 CV Hit Foul Middle, Middle
16 CV Miss Ball in dirt Way low, outside corner
17 FB Miss Ball Up, in
18 CV Hit Foul Low, outside corner
19 CV Miss Long foul ball Middle, in
20 FB Hit Foul Low, outside corner
21 CH Miss Swinging strike High, outside corner May have been poor CV
22 FB Hit Called strike Low, in
23 CH Miss Swinging strike Low, outside corner
24 FB Hit Foul Low, in
25 CH Hit Triple Low, outside corner Misplay by Jaren Matthews
26 Missed Bad Camera Work Foul Ball
27 FB Hit Ball Middle, Outside
28 CV Miss Ball Low, outside
29 CV Miss Called strike Low, inside corner
30 CV Miss Ground out, 1B Low, inside corner
31 FB Hit Fly out, LF Low, outside corner
32 FB Miss Called strike Low, inside corner
33 FB Miss Ball Low, way in
34 CH Miss Check Swing K Way low, inside
35 CV Miss Foul Low, inside corner
36 FB Miss Ball Middle, inside
37 CV Hit Foul Middle, outside corner
38 FB Miss Ball Middle, inside
39 FB Miss Pop up, 2B Middle, inside
40 FB Hit Called strike Low, outside corner
41 FB Hit Fly out, RF Low, middle
42 CV Miss Ball Middle, out
43 FB Hit Foul Low, middle
44 FB Miss Foul Low, middle
45 CV Hit Ground out, 1B Low, outside corner
46 FB Hit Fly out, LF Middle, outside
47 CH Miss Swinging strike Low, inside corner
48 CV Miss Long foul ball Up, inside
49 CV Hit Fly ball, CF Low, middle
50 CV Miss Ball in dirt Very low, outside
51 FB Miss Ball Middle, outside
52 FB Miss Fly ball, CF Middle, outside corner
53 FB Hit Pop up, SS Inside, high
54 CV Hit Called strike Low, outside corner
55 CV Miss Ball low, way outside
56 FB Miss Ball High, outside
57 FB Hit Fly Ball, RF Middle, outside corner
58 FB Hit Called strike Low, outside corner
59 CV Hit Called strike low, outside corner
60 FB Miss Ball High, outside
61 CV Hit Ground out, 1B Low, outside corner
62 CV Miss Strike Low, outside corner
63 FB Miss Ball Low, middle
64 FB Miss Ball Low, way inside
65 FB Miss Ground out, 1B Middle, inside
66 FB Hit Called strike Middle, outside corner
67 CV Hit Called strike Low, outside corner
68 CV Hit Ball Low, outside corner
69 CV Hit Swinging strike Low, outside
70 FB Miss Fly ball, LF Middle, outside
71 FB Hit Called strike Middle, outside
72 CV Hit Called strike Low, outside corner
73 CH Miss Ball Low, outside
74 CV Hit Called strike Low, middle

Statistical breakdown

Pitch Selection
Pitch Strike Rate
Fastball 52.1% Fastball 60.5%
Curveball 37.0% Curveball 74.1%
Change Up 11.0% Change Up 87.5%

Ball Called K Swing K Foul In play
Pitch
Fastball 15 8 0 6 9
Curveball 7 8 2 6 4
Change Up 1 0 4 0 3

Overall observations

Josh Smith may not have his projection match his numbers he is posting, but I think he has a Major League arm if he can remain healthy. He should be the first pitcher promoted from Dayton to Bakersfield given his age and stuff. His curveball is simply overmatching nearly every hitter in the league and his control is quite good for this level as well. I am still not sure if he will remain a starter as he reaches the top of the ladder, but he has the stuff to be a quality reliever as well.

I would like to do articles similar to this throughout the season. But, I will only be able to do them for now with guys on the Dayton Dragons or the Louisville Bats (or who have made a start for the Bats at this point). I would also do articles on hitters over a series. So if you have a suggestion for a hitter or pitcher who you would like me to cover next, let me know. If you have any other things you would like for me to add into these types of posts for a pitcher, let me know and I will try to include it in the next one.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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