How did he get here?: Drafted, 2009 (31st Round)
Stats: 6'2", 200 lbs, Throws: Left
Age as of April 1, 2011: 23
Birthplace/Hometown: Dalmatia, PA
Men of the Match: 1
After a long season at VMI in 2009, Smink was pretty ineffective in Greeneville last season, leading to a repeat year in the App League. And what we saw was basically a 180 from 2009. He cut his ERA by almost three runs. He cut his WHIP by almost a half a baserunner, and he cut his H/9 by over 3H, and also doubled his strikeout rate.
Smink even made a spot start on August 3 against Johnson City, which didn't go so well (2.2IP, 5H/3ER). So in short, it was a pretty good year for the lefty reliever, who posted six saves for the Gastros. As a reliever, he posted 27IP, 26H/8ER, 25K:3BB.
What went right?
K:BB ratio. Smink struck out 28 batters in 29.2IP, so that's pretty damn good. But only walked four batters in those 29.2IP, that's a nice picture of command.
June and July. In his first 15.1IP, Smink allowed 13H/3ER, 16K:2BB.
Groundballs. On the season, Smink posted a 2.63 GB:FB ratio - including a 3.00 rate in August.
What went wrong?
It looked like Smink tired a little in August (and that spot start didn't really help, either). Opposing batters hit .182 in June, .234 in July, and .321 in August - but he still had 12K:2BB in 14.1 August IPs.
Bases Empty. Smink's WHIP w/runners on: 0.90. WHIP w/RISP: 1.00. WHIP w/Bases Empty: 1.54, including the two homers he allowed.
Appy Astros says: He was the closer to start the season. He got 5 saves out of his first 6 outings. There doesn't appear to be a reason why he stopped getting save opportunities as he continued to be effective through the end of July, giving up just 3 ER in 151/3 IP. But maybe the Astros coaching staff could see something we couldn't because in August, Smink struggled.
Appy Astros thinks that Smink will be in Lexington next year, and I whole-heartedly agree. His command, even with a shaky August, is too good not to bump him up to the SAL in 2011.