News: 2 days agoSmith, who's ticketed for the starting center field job, has yet to participate in Mariners summer camp workouts, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Spin: Smith's absence has not been explained by the team. The Mariners have announced three players tested positive for COVID-19 prior to camp, but there are five players, including Smith, that have yet to participate. It can't be assumed Smith's absence equates to a positive test, but what is clear is that he's currently losing valuable preparation time ahead of the regular season.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: While Smith led the majors in stolen bases last season with 46, he was not a big net-positive in the rotisserie game, finishing with roughly $5 earned in 12-team mixed leagues. By real-world measures, Smith was essentially a replacement-level player. He legged out 19 infield hits, but still managed just a .227 average while fanning in about 25% of his plate appearances. Smith does not walk much and the power is pretty much nonexistent, as evidenced by his 13 career home runs in more than 1,600 major league plate appearances. Smith's average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xBA, xSLG and xwOBA all ranked in the bottom 5% of the league, per Statcast. In pretty much every non-rotisserie format, Smith is undraftable. In roto leagues he's in the mix, but only as a desperation play if you miss out on speed early. Beware that the threat of reduced playing time is very real, even in Seattle.