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Drew Smith was traded to the Mets for Lucas Duda, but who is he?

Getting to know the Mets’ newest prospect.

MLB: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Duda has left the building, traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a 23-year-old reliever named Drew Smith. So who is the latest Mets acquisition?

Drew Smith was the 30th ranked prospect in Tampa’s system according to MLB Pipeline, but Mets fans shouldn’t let that number fool them. According to a number of experts, Smith is better than his ranking, with some thinking he might even have closer or setup man potential.

Smith was originally drafted in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. Smith pitched in college for Dallas Baptist University, and was initially touted for his fastball, which has been clocked as high as 99 MPH but generally sits in the 92-96 MPH range. He has also developed an excellent curve that scouts also rate as a plus pitch for him.

The Tigers traded Smith to the Rays this past offseason in a deal that brought the Tigers outfielder Mikie Mahtook. Smith has excelled in the Rays’ system this season, pitching at three levels and reaching Triple-A for the first time. He carries a 1.60 ERA in 31 appearances in the minors this season, and has shown good command, striking out 10.1 per nine innings with a walk rate of just 2.7.

It’s likely that Smith will need another year or two in the minors before he’s ready for a call-up, but his arm represents a good addition to the Mets’ minor league system.