Cameron Smith has generated an increased interest from professional scouts in recent months due to his exciting and well-balanced toolset.
After a strong showing at the 2021 WWBA National Championship, Smith has performed at a high level during his senior season at Palm Beach Central (Fla.) High School. He credits his offseason work with former MLB infielder Devon Travis for his success this spring.
Travis, a Palm Beach Central alum, played four years with the Toronto Blue Jays. Smith first met Travis during his sophomore season in 2020. Since then, Travis has served as a mentor to Smith.
The prep shortstop has worked with and sought advice from Travis on ways he can improve his game. Travis helped Smith with his swing mechanics in the offseason, which has paid off this spring.
“One game my sophomore year, I had a nice double into the right-center gap, and Devon texted me after the game and said, ‘You’re legit, man. You really got the tools,'” Smith said. “I have always looked up to Devon, so I realized I just needed the confidence. After that, my confidence skyrocketed, knowing that I could compete with those guys.”
Smith aspires to play in the major leagues, just like Travis did from 2015-18. He is a pop-up prospect who is rising on MLB draft boards. His intangibles and potential make him an intriguing prospect who scouts believe could hear his name called in the early rounds of July’s draft.
“It’s an enjoyable process,” Smith said. “The scouts and everyone who comes out to the games are really nice. I can always talk to them, call them after the game, and have a normal conversation. That gives me no pressure knowing that.”
Smith is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound shortstop who is a well-balanced player with a proven ability to impact the game. His swing is quick and compact, allowing him to drive the ball for power against premium pitching consistently. The right-handed hitter uses a subtle leg kick as a timing mechanism.
Defensively, Smith plays shortstop for his high school team. He is a special athlete who has the above-average arm strength and the quickness to make all the plays at shortstop.
Smith has experience playing shortstop and third base. Some scouts believe he can handle center field. While Smith is open to playing any of those three positions, he prefers to say at shortstop long term. He wants to improve his lateral quickness to solidify his shortstop skills.
“I’m pretty talkative in the field,” Smith said. “I had a game last season where my grandma pulled me to the side and told me I wasn’t loud enough on the field. I took that personally, and I feel like me talking in the field makes me more confident.”
Besides his status as a draft prospect, Smith is a Florida State commit. He committed to FSU in February 2021, citing his fandom for the university as a reason for his commitment. His relationship with the coaching staff and their track record of developing talent also factored into the decision.
“My whole life, I have been a Florida State fan,” Smith said. “I didn’t have any other school that I wanted to go to. I always wanted to be good enough to go to my dream school.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.