The Toronto Blue Jays selected Maryland baseball shortstop Kevin Smith in the fourth round of the 2017 MLB Draft on Tuesday afternoon. He was taken with the 129th overall pick.
Analysts believed Smith would be selected in the top five rounds because of his defense. The preseason Big Ten Player of the Year committed just 12 errors over 54 games with the Terps this year.
Smith, who is expected to remain a shortstop as a professional, proved he can hit for power during his junior season in College Park. He hit .268 with 13 home runs — tied with outfielder Marty Costes for most on the team — and 48 RBIs.
He also thrived in the Cape Cod League last summer, which potentially factored into Toronto’s decision to take him early in the draft. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo said before the draft that teams take Cape Cod League performances into consideration while evaluating players.
The East Greenbush, New York, native hit .301 with 12 doubles and two home runs for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. He was named D1Baseball.com’s summer breakout prospect.
Smith was the first Maryland player selected in this year’s draft.