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2022 Mets Draft profile: D’Andre Smith

With their fifth-round selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, 149th overall, the Mets selected D’Andre Smith, a shortstop from the University of Southern California.

A native of Diamond Bar, California, D’Andre Smith attended San Dimas High School. Between 2017 and 2020, the four years he attended, the San Dimas Saints went 77-17 overall and 30-2 in Valle Vista League games, claiming league championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and Smith was a major reason why. A versatile player able to man positions all over the field but mainly played shortstop, he hit a cumulative .362 with 29 doubles, 4 triples, and 2 home runs over the course of his career there. He went undrafted in the COVID-shortened 2020 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to the UNC.

Smith only appeared in 13 games for the Trojans in 2021 due to a back injury, but he made the most of the time he did get on the field, hitting .342/.471/.366 with 0 home runs, 5 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 10 walks to 4 strikeouts. That summer, he played for the Burlington Sock Puppets- formerly, the Burlington Royals- in the newly reorganized Appalachian League and hit .294/.383/.412 in 14 games with 1 home run, 5 stolen bases in 6 attempts, and 6 walks to 19 strikeouts. The shortstop returned to UNC fully healthy and appeared in 52 games for the Trojans, hitting .286/.380/.471 with 8 home runs, 4 stolen bases in 8 attempts, and 24 walks to 44 strikeouts. A draft-eligible sophomore, the right-hander entered the NCAA transfer portal at the conclusion of the 2022 season following the termination of USC head coach Jason Gill.

At the plate, D’Andre Smith stands slightly open with a wide base, holding his hands high and wrapping the bat behind his head. He swings with a slight leg kick or toe tap mechanism and has sneaky pop for a 5’9”, 180-pound middle infielder, particularly to his pull side, when his upper half and lower half stay in sync. The power has come with a price, as he has seemingly begun selling out for power, increasing his swing-and-miss rates, but Smith has shown the ability to put barrel-on-ball in the past and could very easily be coached to return to that philosophy. Smith is far from a burner on the basepaths, possessing fringe-average-to-average speed, but he makes the most of it.

Defensively, Smith should be able to handle shortstop in the near future but may be better suited at second base as a professional in the long term future. He plays the position aggressively with a high amount of energy, but many scouts and evaluators believe that he has peaked defensively in the present as a result and will not be able to handle the position as he ages. While he shows enough range for short, his grapeshot arm is not the most accurate, his actions are a little stiff, and he is prone to making errors due to his high-energy style of play. These faults are not from a low baseball IQ, but rather, from his desire to leave everything on the field and do everything in his power to help his team win.