Smyly with the Tampa Bay Rays
|Seattle Mariners – No. 33|
June 13, 1989 |
|April 12, 2012, for the Detroit Tigers|
(through 2016 season)
|Earned run average||3.74|
Todd Andrew "Drew" Smyly (born June 13, 1989) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to his professional career, he played college baseball at the University of Arkansas. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2010 and made his major league debut in 2012. The Tigers traded Smyly to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, and the Rays traded him to the Mariners in 2017. Smyly has also competed for the United States national baseball team, winning the silver medal in the 2011 Pan American Games.
Smyly attended Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas and the University of Arkansas, where he played college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, Smyly came within two outs of pitching the first no-hitter at the NCAA Division I championship tournament in eighteen years.
During the summer following his strong 2009 season, Smyly pitched for the Duluth Huskies of the Northwoods League where he played for a brief time under current New York Mets Manager Terry Collins. Serving in the Razorbacks starting rotation, Smyly was named All-SEC in 2010.
The Detroit Tigers drafted Smyly in the second round (68th overall) of the 2010 MLB Draft. Smyly signed with the Tigers, receiving a $1.1 million signing bonus. Pitching for the Lakeland Tigers of the Class-A Advanced Florida State League and the Erie Seawolves of the Class-AA Eastern League, Smyly was the named Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, pitching to an 11–6 win–loss record with a 2.07 earned run average (ERA) and 130 strikeouts in 126 innings pitched.
Heading into the 2012 season, MLB.com ranked Smyly the 82nd best prospect in baseball, while Baseball America ranked Smyly the third best prospect in the Tigers organization, behind Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos. The Tigers invited Smyly to spring training in 2012, allowing him to compete for a spot in the Tigers starting rotation. Smyly won the competition, beginning the 2012 season in the starting rotation of the Detroit Tigers, though he made one start with the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class-AAA International League on April 7 prior to being called up for his MLB debut on April 12. On June 14, he was placed on the disabled list (retroactive to June 11) due to a blister on his left hand. He returned June 26 to make a start against the Texas Rangers. Following the Tigers trade deadline acquisition of starter Aníbal Sánchez from the Miami Marlins, Smyly spent much of August and September coming out of the Tigers bullpen.
On the season, Drew pitched 99 1⁄3 innings, compiling a 4–3 record with 94 strikeouts, 33 walks and a 3.99 ERA. He was named to the Tigers postseason roster.
Smyly competed with Rick Porcello in spring training for the fifth spot in the Tigers 2013 starting rotation. On March 26, it was announced that Porcello had won the No. 5 starter job, and that Smyly would start the season in the Tiger bullpen. On April 5, 2013, Smyly got his first career save after pitching four perfect innings of relief in an 8–3 win over the Yankees. In his first full season as a reliever, Smyly posted a 6–0 record with a 2.37 ERA. He led all Tigers relievers in innings pitched (76) and strikeouts (81).
With the departure of Tigers starter Doug Fister via trade, Drew was named the No. 5 starter in the Tigers rotation for the 2014 season. Because of off days, he pitched six innings out of the bullpen before making his season debut as a starter on April 18. Drew pitched seven shutout innings to earn the win in a May 3 game against the Kansas City Royals. This marked his first win as a starter since July 6, 2012, which also came against Kansas City. On July 25, in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Smyly matched his season high in strikeouts (8) after just three innings, and finished the game with a career high 11 strikeouts in 5 2⁄3 innings.
Tampa Bay Rays
On July 31, The Detroit Tigers traded Smyly to the Tampa Bay Rays, along with Willy Adames, in a three-team deal that also sent Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners, Nick Franklin from the Mariners to the Rays, and David Price to the Tigers. On September 9, Rays' manager Joe Maddon announced they would shut down Smyly for the remainder of the season, after he had pitched a career-high 153 innings. After being traded to the Rays, Smyly went 3–1 with a 1.70 ERA in seven starts. Opponents hit only .155 against him, a figure that led the AL over that span.
On February 4, 2016, Smyly won his arbitration case against the Rays. He earned $3.75 million in 2016.
|Representing United States|
|Pan American Games|
|2011 Guadalajara||National team|
After the 2011 season, Smyly pitched for the U.S. national baseball team in the 2011 Baseball World Cup and the 2011 Pan American Games, winning the silver medal. Smyly also pitched for team USA in the 2017 WBC.
Smyly throws four pitches. His main pitch is a four-seam fastball at 90–92 mph, known for the fact that it explodes on the hitter. He adds a curveball at 78–82 with little depth. He has a cut fastball around 85–88, which has drawn praise for its late, darting-like movement into right-handed hitters and away from lefties. Since rejoining the starting rotation in 2014, Drew has re-added a changeup in the 79–82 mph range that he throws almost exclusively to right-handed hitters. He will also mix in a slider (83-85) on occasion.
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- Chastain, Bill (January 11, 2017). "Rays trade Smyly for Smith, 2 Minor Leaguers". MLB.com. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
- "Former Razorback Drew Smyly PIcked To Pitch For Team USA". Arkansassports360.com. September 15, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
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- "PITCHf/x Player Card: Drew Smyly". BrooksBaseball.net. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
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