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Will Smith: Part Of The Future For The Kansas City Royals?

Will Smith threw 99 pitches on Thursday, allowing just two runs over seven innings as the Kansas City Royals continued to build on the Chicago series with an 8-2 victory in Baltimore.

August 9, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Will Smith (53) pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
August 9, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Will Smith (53) pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas City Royals pitcher Will Smith would likely be in the middle of the rotation at AAA Omaha this season if it weren't for the issues with the big league starting rotation.

Through his first eight career starts Smith is just 3-4 with a 5.48 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He has struck out 29 while walking 17 in 46 innings pitched.

However in half of his starts, Smith has allowed three earned runs or fewer. Except for his debut at Yankee Stadium on May 23rd, Smith has been quite good on the road.

Being left-handed, and possessing great size at 6'5" and 240 lbs, it's often forgotten than he just turned 23 a few weeks ago.

While he never will be confused with a front of the rotation starter, Smith has shown glimpses that he could turn into a solid back of the rotation guy.

He's not a big strikeout guy, however he doesn't walk many batters in comparison to the other pitchers on the staff. If Smith can continue to command his fastball, and also find the corner with his curveball, the Royals have a suitable and reliable pitcher for years to come.

What is somewhat concerning thus far, it hasn't been established yet if Smith is a groundball or flyball pitcher at the major league level. It seems that every other start he bounces back and forth between predominately getting most outs on the ground or in the air. In his last five starts, in which he has given up just two home runs, he has shown better ability to keep the ball in play.

As for the rest of the season, it will be key to see his walk totals go down and aiming to get his ERA below five.