Rays, opponents aware of 'Mallex Effect'

Speedy young outfielder making impact with new club

April 10th, 2017

NEW YORK -- 's play has alerted fans, the Rays and their opponents that he's around.

So much so that it's being called the "Mallex Effect."

Saturday night against the Blue Jays, Smith went 2-for-2 with three walks, two stolen bases and he scored the winning run in a 3-2 win in 11 innings.

Manager Kevin Cash smiled when asked about the "Mallex Effect."

"Well anytime, you know, like the other night he got on base five times, it's going to have an effect, because he's so fast," Cash said. "The other night, the guy was pretty quick to the plate, there was a good-throwing catcher back there and he still found a way to steal bases."

"That's an effect. You go back to the earlier days, with and [Melvin Upton Jr.], he can just outrun some things. That's the effect he's had."

How fast is Smith?

According to Statcast™ research -- and consider that it's a small sample of results, Smith has two of the top five fastest times from home to first base this season. All of the top five came on bunts, and ranks No. 1 at 3.5 seconds. Smith recorded a 3.66 in the third inning Thursday night against the Blue Jays and a 3.67 time in the fourth inning Sunday against the Blue Jays.

Smith came to the Rays in the Jan. 11 trade that sent Drew Smyly to the Mariners. The speedster had 16 stolen bases in 72 games with the Braves last season, and he stole 230 bases in 399 Minor League games. He has three stolen bases this season.

Bunting is a big part of Smith's game, and he's a tireless worker in trying to perfect his craft. He's also made an impact in the field.

According to Cash, Smith has cut off several balls that normally would have been doubles and held the runners to singles.

"He's been really good," Cash said.