Caleb Smith is not an ace. I will put that out there now, and assuage any comment bombs. However looking at a short season, and for funsies, considering an MLB proposed 50-game season that looks closer and closer to reality as the days grow longer, we are now looking at finding value in possibly 2 months of games, bleh. With a long grinding season becoming a short sprint, I was curious about fast-starting pitchers while continuing research on the hitter-side. To my surprise, there was 1 name that appeared in the Top 20 K% for starting pitchers from April–May over the last 2 years outside of Grey’s Top 100. That name is indeed Caleb Smith.

Now I know what you are thinking, Smith is kinda sun-dried garbaggio as the season wears on so why are you bothering me with this pincushion? I get it. But hear me out! If the season continues to shrink and we see 2 months full of games, you can spin the wheel of mediocrity and possibly land on a short-term ace. He doesn’t have to be Mr. Right, just Mr. Right-now-while-we-have-games (for 2 months). And those kinds of aces come in spades, Mr. Kilmister. One of which could easily be our boy, Caleb.

K% BB% K-BB% BAA ERA WHIP FIP
2018 29.9% 11.3% 18.6% .190 3.51 1.15 3.25
2019 33.8% 7.6% 26.2% .188 3.10 0.97 3.66

In his short career so far, over 117.1 innings Caleb Smith has 3.30 ERA, 11.44 K/9, and .190 BAA during the first 2 months of the season. That looks a lot like the stat line of Shane Bieber in a short season. Is Caleb Smith the next Bieber? Hahaha, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. I’m not going to be rifling through my pitchers to take Smith to the range. But I am saying he could be fairly reliable in a pinch for a quick double-tap. There is some risk to be mindful of with him: it fell apart for him in the second half in 2019 as it did in 2018, largely due to a rather high road HR/9 over 2, whereas his HR/9 at home was only 1.23. However, his season went off the rails after a hip injury that ultimately lowered his velocity by 2-3 mph after returning.

Caleb Smith has been drafted firmly after 200 (and rightly so given his late-season implosions). But for that cost, its very cheap for a pitcher that could go on a short-season tear and lead your pitching staff. The long test of a full season has not been kind to him so far, but he could stay healthy with fewer innings. All 3 of his pitches get an above-average swinging strike rate, so you know he’s not shooting blanks. And if the velocity is back, he might be one hell of a sidearm.

 

 
  1. Snacks “the L Holt killa” Zillion says:
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    Thanks for that great article, just grabbed him in a draft this morning after reading. This is exactly the kind of info that sets Razzball apart. Anyone can write about TillDaddy or Trout but the hidden value guys make the difference. Last year, Grey’s Aquino and Yordan hype brought me two chanpionships.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice name change!

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        LOL

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    I do think Smith might be sun-dried garbaggio, but any time someone can put up numbers fast, they could be interesting this year

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      Yeah, his super high HR-rate and BB-rate keeps him from taking the next step. But for whatever reason he begins the season a lot better, less walks and more swinging strikes.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, was way off him before shortened season, now I’m not drafting him but can understand if others are

  3. Hernan says:
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    Great Article…, 2 years of Smith teasing us with dominance in short spurts…, he can easily go for 10 starts of cy young type numbers…, thing that worries me about him is that fly ball rate plus the fact that Marlins are such an awful defense/catcher framing/run support black hole….I know at around 200 ADP is an excellent upside play, in my case I’m looking at guys like Dylan Bundy and Joe Musgrove, both going in low 200s …, to me Bundy is AL’s versioin of Caleb Smith, if you look at underlying numbers , mediocre fastball velocity yet above average spin and movement, trapped in awful team…, but…, there’s obviously a significant change in Bundy’s outlook, we’ll see what having Angel’s infield defense and Castro’s elite framing and Halo’s run support does for him…, my 2 cents…. Razzball RULES!!!!!!

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      thanks dude! As an Angels fan I’m certainly hopeful given that they brought in Callaway to be the pitching coach.

  4. krazyivan says:
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    Great article. Someone that I’m looking to bid on for sure.
    You guys have shooting ranges in Cali? I had no idea

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      some would say parts of south central LA qualify

  5. Thanks C-Dub! Good info to know and I’ll consider Caleb a little more now. He does have some punchout value and can’t be all that bad with his last name! LOL

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      LOL

  6. 183414 says:
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    Piss on a 50 game season. Anything short of 82 will lose millions of fans and cost the greedy, unfeeling owners more than playing 114 games in unnecessary empty stadiums will cost them. Value of the MLB teams will be slashed dramatically and it couldn’t happen to a scummier group of pigs. Yeah, I know, the 2nd, 3d, and 4th wave is coming. Haven’t heard a peep about the wuhan virus in the past 2 weeks, and that large crowd of people at the bbq/pool outing led to zero hospitalizations. Amazing what being outside in the sun and exercising can do to a “pandemic”.
    Wonder how many of the millions of protesters arm and arm will end up in hospitals, other than from assaulting people. My guess is that not enough to keep insisting that ballplayers play in front of empty stadiums with masks on.
    Looking more and more that the mlb, is going the way the nba and nfl have gone for myself, and many, many others.
    Greed and stupidity is a bad combination.

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      Yeah 50 games would be the weakest solution to this mess, 80+ should be the line. MLB is doing their best to cancel MLB. These owners/commish are the worst.

      You know, it certainly makes you wonder seeing thousands of people on the street and no one cares, even the freaking Mayor of LA joined the crowds but some businesses can’t open still? I was more cautious with the lack of data, but now seeing all the new data pour in and seeing the study in Sweden et al. I’m over it now, there no longer is any scientific reason to restrict outdoor activities and keep biz closed.

      I motion for a dismissal counselor!

      • 183414 says:
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        Glad you finally see the reality of the situation.
        Actually, millions on the streets, arm and arm. Garcetti is a criminal.
        Hope that most of the little dicktators are eradicated very soon.

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