Hard Work Pays Off For Smith, Now A UConn Commit


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Hard Work Pays Off For Smith, Now A UConn Commit

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Drew Smith

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Edward Little
    State: ME
  • Summer Team: Maine Lightning
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 205lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R

Statistics

Pitching
87
Max FB
(02/12/22)
86 - 87
FB
(02/12/22)
71 - 72
CH
(02/12/22)
75 - 78
SL
(02/12/22)
Pitching
Max FB
87
FB
86 - 87
CH
71 - 72
SL
75 - 78
Trackman - Fastball
86.8
Velocity (max)
(02/12/22)
84.9 - 86.5
Velo Range
(02/12/22)
77.3
Eff Velocity (avg)
(02/12/22)
1988
Spin Rate (max)
(02/12/22)
1860
Spin Rate (avg)
(02/12/22)
22.8
IVB (max)
(02/12/22)
17.8
IVB (avg)
(02/12/22)
17.9
HM (max)
(02/12/22)
12.7
HM (avg)
(02/12/22)
0.9
Extension (avg)
(02/12/22)
5.6
Release Ht (avg)
(02/12/22)
23
Spin Score (max)
(02/12/22)
29
Zone %
(02/12/22)
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
86.8
Velo Range
84.9 - 86.5
Eff Velocity (avg)
77.3
Spin Rate (max)
1988
Spin Rate (avg)
1860
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Slider
79.5
Velocity (max)
(02/12/22)
76.1 - 79.0
Velo Range
(02/12/22)
70.0
Eff Velocity (avg)
(02/12/22)
2004
Spin Rate (max)
(02/12/22)
1956
Spin Rate (avg)
(02/12/22)
0.1
IVB (max)
(02/12/22)
1.7
IVB (avg)
(02/12/22)
-7.9
HM (max)
(02/12/22)
-5.9
HM (avg)
(02/12/22)
0.8
Extension (avg)
(02/12/22)
5.5
Release Ht (avg)
(02/12/22)
26
Spin Score (max)
(02/12/22)
33
Zone %
(02/12/22)
Trackman - Slider
Velocity (max)
79.5
Velo Range
76.1 - 79
Eff Velocity (avg)
70
Spin Rate (max)
2004
Spin Rate (avg)
1956
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - ChangeUp
76.8
Velocity (max)
(02/12/22)
72.4 - 76.8
Velo Range
(02/12/22)
70.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
(02/12/22)
1338
Spin Rate (max)
(02/12/22)
1298
Spin Rate (avg)
(02/12/22)
1.7
Extension (avg)
(02/12/22)
5.6
Release Ht (avg)
(02/12/22)
18
Spin Score (max)
(02/12/22)
Trackman - ChangeUp
Velocity (max)
76.8
Velo Range
72.4 - 76.8
Eff Velocity (avg)
70.4
Spin Rate (max)
1338
Spin Rate (avg)
1298
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)

Hard Work Pays Off For Smith, Now A UConn Commit

AUBURN, Me. - It was three weeks after throwing in the PBR Procase when Drew Smith realized what his hard work was doing.

“That was the first time I hit 90,” the second-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in New England related. “I saw that what I was doing was paying off. Throwing was easier on my body.”

Improvement came from a strong work ethic.

“I never threw seriously until winter of last year,” Smith noted. “That’s when I started taking care of my arm and working on my mechanics to keep in the zone better.”

About the same time his velocity exploded, the 6-3 205-pounder went to a camp at the University of Connecticut.

“As soon as I was on campus I was like … this is where I want to go,” the 137th-ranked junior RHP in the nation reflected. “I threw a pen there and talked to coach Mac (Joshua MacDonald, the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator) and he said he’d stay in touch. In the summer he came to watch me a couple times. A few weeks later they offered and a week later I committed.”

The 16-year-old made an impression on UConn, which this past season set a program record with 50 wins en route to an appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals.

“They like my arm talent and the size of my frame,” noted the 11th-rated 2024 in New England. “They liked the way I acted and carried myself in tough situations.”

Boston College and Northeastern also showed interest while Maine offered the 424th-ranked junior in the country, but Connecticut emerged above the rest in the eyes of Smith.

“First off, I love the campus,” the Edward Little High School 11th-grader pointed out. “The team has been good lately and the coaches really stood out. They have one of the best staffs in the country. I clicked with (head) coach (Jim) Penders and coach Mac. I also talked to some of the players and they had a lot of good things to say.”

It brought an end to a recruiting process that was “more fun than stressful” according to Smith, whose dream to play at the next level started just a few years back.

“In eighth grade I realized baseball was my favorite sport and what I wanted to stay with,” Smith explained. “Things were shut down in 2020 due to covid so I worked on my own. Freshman year it started to become realistic with getting my name out there and starting to see scouts at games.”

Admittedly, that can sometimes be difficult living in Maine.

“The competition here is okay,” Smith said. “The spring season can be rough with snow banks and it’s definitely not warm out so that affects the game. But I love living in Maine. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Now Smith will be playing baseball 31/2 hours south of his home in Maine, understanding a tough grind lies ahead.

“I’m going to work hard and try to earn my spot,” Smith noted. “I’m excited to compete with guys that might be a little better than me.”

Smith pointed to Ryan Copp with helping his recruitment and pitching coach Matt Johnston with aiding in his development in making a commitment with UConn a reality.

“It felt great,” Smith said of making his decision official with the Big East program that has made eight NCAA Tournament appearances since 2010. “I knew I was committing to somewhere I wanted to be, a place I will fit in with a team that will definitely succeed.”

Smith, who carries a 3.8 GPA in high school, is uncertain about a major as he looks ahead to being a college baseball player.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the competition,” Smith concluded. “I hope to get past college and one day play pro ball, but for now I’m looking forward to getting a good education, and mostly just having fun and playing the game I love.”



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