Caleb Smith has been a pleasant surprise for the Marlins so far this season. No one really expected him to be this good this soon.
Smith recently had shoulder surgery to repair a grade 3 lat strain back in June of 2018. At the time of his injury he was leading all MLB rookies with 88 strikeouts and it turned out to be a difficult blow to the Marlins’ struggling rotation.
Now that Smith is healthy again, he is dominating the opposition. In five games for the fish, he’s 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA. In 29 innings pitched he has 37 strikeouts against just seven walks, not a bad strikeout to walk ratio if you ask me.
Percentages Against Smith
So far this season, the exit velocity of balls hit against Smith is an average of 83.4 mph. That puts him in the top 5% of the entire league in that category.
Hard hit balls percentage against him is also great, only 21.5% of the balls that are put in play against him are hard hit. That puts him in the top 6% percent of the league.
Not to mention he’s striking batters out 33.9% of the time which puts him in the top 7% of the league. News flash Marlins fans, Caleb Smith is really good.
Smith has three main pitches that he’s thrown so far this year, four-seam fastball, slider, and a changeup. They’re pretty good.
On his fastball, hitters are batting a mere .196 average with a 28.7% whiff rate, a 35.3% strikeout rate, and an average exit velocity against the fastball of 82.8 mph. His fastball’s spin rate is up there with the best of them at 2420 rpm.
His slider is at an elite level . Hitters are hitting for a .185 average, with a 36.4% whiff rate, a 39.3% strikeout rate, and the exit velocity dropped a little bit against the pitch at 82.3 mph. The spin rate of the pitch is close to the spin rate of his fastball at 2277 rpm. Similar spin rate makes it that much more difficult to decipher if its a fastball or a slider.
His change up is a devastating pitch for opposing hitters. Hitters are hitting for a .111 average with a 40% whiff rate, a 28.6% strikeout rate. The exit velocity against the pitch rose a little bit but not to much at an 85.7 mph average. The spin rate for the pitch also dropped compared to the other pitches which makes it that much more difficult to hit. Spin rate for Smith’s change up is at 1917 rpm.
Caleb Smith has the stuff to be an All-Star this season and he’s showcasing it so far. Don’t be surprised to see more than one Marlins’ starting pitcher to make the All-Star game this summer, this rotation is ridiculously good and they’re Just Gettin’ Started.