On Tuesday, June 16th the Cleveland Indians signed undrafted free agent right-handed pitcher Cade Smith.
Cade Smith- Right-handed Pitcher
The Vancouver, British Columbia native was drafted in the 16th round by the Minnesota Twins. Smith pitched for the u18 Canadian National Team in 2017 and appeared in the Baseball World Cup Championship. In 2019 Smith was named to the academic All Big-West team and in 2020 he earned the University of Hawai’i’s Scholar-Athlete Award. In a normal draft year, the right-hander would have likely been drafted in the 11-15 round range.
Smith has appeared in 34 career games logging multiple innings on numerous occasions mostly as a swingman. The native Canadian started 15 career games in his three-year collegiate career. He pitched for the Victoria Harbourcats of the West Coast League in 2019 logging 29 innings across 6 starts with 27 strikeouts, 7 walks with a 4.34 ERA. In 2020 Smith made 5 appearances with 2 starts logging 18.1 innings with 22 strikeouts and 8 walks surrendering a BA of .261 with 1 homer allowed (and only 6 career home runs allowed in 117 innings).
On the mound, the right-hander reportedly has a low-to-mid 90’s fastball (video), though he appears to sit mostly 88-92, touching 93 mph with movement. The former-Rainbows righty works off of his fastball and displays a developing curveball with above-average potential. Smith appears to have a lesser-used changeup that drops off the table. Smith’s career walk-rate of 3.39 in college would indicate he has above-average control. However, he’s posted walk-rates above 3.50 the past 2 seasons indicating the righty has more average control. Online video of the righty shows his ability to work off his fastball pounding the zone utilizing his fastball and curveball to get outs. The Indians pitching development will work with young college junior (21.1) to maximize his potential. Overall, there’s a possibility Smith gets an opportunity to start in the lower minors but he could be destined for the bullpen where his stuff could play up.
Photo: University of Hawaii