Braves Sign Minor League Free Agent Outfielder Tim Smith

We don't usually point out every minor league move the Atlanta Braves organization makes (though I mention all of them on Twitter), but this one deserves some attention. The Braves have signed minor league free agent outfielder Tim Smith, and assigned him to their high-A Lynchburg club. Smith is 25 years old, but he's posted a career line of .305/.371/.457 in five minor league seasons. He played last year with the Royals in double-A, and hit .311/.365/.508 with 10 home runs in just 69 games.

Smith was released by the Royals in spring training and given a choice between being a backup outfielder at triple-A or accepting a release and trying to find a job with another club. He chose the latter. I would imagine he had a bit of a hard time finding a full time job, since he should be in triple-A, but will be starting out at A-ball for the Braves. This link has some good information and quotes from him about his release.

He should probably be considered a prospect in the category of a high-floor, low-ceiling type player, and one that can hit .300 in his sleep. He's had a hard time staying healthy, so that has pushed back his development and made him appear less interesting to talent evaluators.

With outfielders Kyle Rose and David Rohm both on the disabled list in Lynchburg, the Braves have a place for Smith to play every day, and he should fit right in with the offensive juggernaut that is the HIllcats' offense. This adds one more player to the organization that will be pushing players at higher levels. Catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis is ready for a promotion, as is shortstop Nick Ahmed and second baseman Tommy LaStella.

Outfield is a weak area for Braves prospect depth, so Smith will strengthen that group. He has a good chance to move quickly, and even though he's older for a prospect, his bat should be a welcome addition to the organization. This is becoming somewhat of a trend for the Braves, signing and drafting older players. We'll see how it works out.

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