Q & A with Austin Smith MLB Draft Prospect 2015

Q & A with Austin Smith MLB Draft Prospect 2015

We sat down with Austin Smith from Park Vista High School in Florida to talk about his Team USA experience, potential draft and more.

Full Austin Smith MLB Draft Prospect Details:
Draft Expectation: First Round 2015
2015 MLB Mock Draft: Top 50 Picks
High School Draft Prospects LIST

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Austin Smith MLB Draft ProspectAustin Smith MLB Draft Prospect photo courtesy of Dawn Cook

INFO
School: Year: Senior
Position-RHP
School-Park Vista High School (Florida)
Birthday-7/9/1996
Bats/Throws-Bats-R/Throws-R
Height/Weight-6’4″/215 lbs
Previously Drafted: Never

Quick Bio on Austin Smith:

At 6’4″ and 215lbs, Smith is a big kid with a big time arm. A mid-90’s fastball is the most attractive asset that Smith possess. He’s been working hard in the off-season and during his senior high-school season to get a better feel for his changeup and breaking pitches. He may not be the most polished of the pitching prospects but he does over tremendous upside as a pitching prospect. His mechanics are free and easy and generates a ton of velocity. He hails from Park Vista, the same school that developed eventual furst-rounder Trea Turner who went onto to NC State prior to being drafted by the Padres in 2014.

9 Questions with Austin Smith MLB Draft 2015 Prospect:
MLBTopProspects: Coming into your senior season, what areas of your game did you want to specifically focus on improving?
Austin Smith: I wanted to improve in all areas of my game and I worked hard in the weight room and conditioning at Cressey Performance in Jupiter this off-season. For pitching I wanted to improve fastball command and consistency of my change up. I feel like both areas have improved but still plenty of work ahead!

MLBTP:  You have committed to play at Florida Atlantic, a short drive from your hometown. What was the decision making process to choose FAU?
AS: I love the coaching staff and family atmosphere at Florida Atlantic! I’ve gotten to know them well over the years. They have a great program.

MLBTP: A lot of projected 1st round draft picks tend to get “caught up in the hype”, how have you managed to stay grounded this season?
AS: In the beginning of season I let the draft and scout hype distract me a bit, but I’ve learned to focus on improving myself each week and focused on helping the team win. If I do that the rest will take care of itself!

MLBTP: Favorite team growing up?
AS: Miami Marlins my hometown team! They have a lot of young talent and going to have a big year!

MLBTP:  You played for USABaseball U18 last year, what was that experience like and what did you learn from that experience?
AS: Playing for team USA was an amazing experience! I learned how much of an honor it is to represent our country. And I got to know some great teammates and coaches along the way Bergner-Smith-Fenter-Wotell-300x211Photo Credit: Baseball America

MLBTP: You were part of something special during your time with USA Baseball tossing just the second no-hitter in USA Baseball history. You started the game, at what point did you think, “We haven’t given up a hit yet”? Or was it just one of those days where everything was on?
AS: It was special to be a part of that no hitter. We weren’t thinking about it much during the game but it was fun to celebrate with my teammates after.

MLBTP: If you end up getting drafted, who will be apart of the conversations about signing versus going to school or has that decision already been?
AS: Me and my parents will be involved in the decision. Right now I’m staying focused on working hard every week and the draft will take care of itself in a couple months!.

MLBTP: Your coach once said “He’s just a very talented athlete”, if you could play a different sport professionally, what would it be? Position?
AS: If I could play another sport professionally it would be football and I would be a running back or a wide receiver or a Quarterback.

MLBTP: You have been described as a “bulldog” on the mound, do you think that’s an accurate assessment? If so, why?
AS: HA! I haven’t heard that much but I’ll take it. When I pitch I want to attack the strike zone with my fastball and off speed pitches. I know if I get ahead of the hitter by throwing strikes I’ll have a good chance to succeed.

We thank Austin for taking the a few moments to answer some questions. Austin Smith ranks as the top 50 draft prospects and slots in around pick 45 in our Mock Draft. If you want to get more info on all of the top prospects in baseball pick up the Prospect Handbook available through Amazon. In the 2015 mlb draft Austin Smith was drafted by the San Diego Padres.

Austin Smith Prospect Video