Smith had a .269 average over 269 games with three clubs in the independent leagues. He stole 42 bases last year for Shreveport and has shown good strike zone judgment.
While old for the league at 26, Smith is showing he can hit in the California League. Smith has reached base in 15 of his 17 games with the Quakes and has a hit in 14 of those games, including his last five. Staying with the Angels aggressive nature, he has swiped a bag in three straight games and has eight stole bases on the year. He is 9-for-18 over his current hitting streak but has scored just one run during that time.
Overall, the hitting in Rancho is well below mediocre. The team on base percentage is at .300 and Jordan Renz, the power bat in the lineup, has struggled with a .237 average. Renz, who has not played since June 4, has struck out once every 2.64 at bats, tallying 75 in 198 at bats. Since hitting .313 in April, Renz has gone 21-for-115 over 31 games, a .183 average. He is also in a 3-for-32 slump over his last nine contests.
Pat Reilly hasn't seen a batting average above .205 since April 20. And he has whiffed once every 3.53 at bats. As the five-hole hitter, Reilly has just six hits in 46, a .130 average, at bats with three RBIs. He has collected just seven multi-hit games over 55 contests on the year.
Larry Infante has been a blessing with four hits in seven at bats since joining the Quakes but all of his hits have come in High Desert.
Darren O'Day continues to be the most dangerous closer in the league. The sidewinding righty has been perfect in converting 11 save opportunities. More sadistic, the Florida native has also held all but one of 17 inherited runners from scoring. The one that got away came on May 17 against Lake Elsinore but he has kept eight off the board since that day. He is also perfect in night games – allowing only one unearned run over 21 games under the lights. O'Day has given up one hit in his last 9.1 innings.
Kevin Jepsen has rebounded from his toughest stretch of the year to toss 4.1 scoreless over his last three outings. He had given up 11 runs on 11 hits and eight walks over a 4.1 inning stretch that spanned four appearances – with runs allowed in each. The right-hander who was born in Anaheim has allowed a walk in each of his last seven appearances and 13 of his last 15, despite going two or more innings just twice. He has kept all seven runners inherited off the scoreboard.
Anthony Ortega has settled nicely into the starting rotation after a rougher start than he would have liked. Since giving up seven runs over four innings on May 13 – seeing his ERA reach its zenith at 4.66 – Ortega has allowed nine runs over his last six starts. The right-hander out of Venezuela has gone seven or more innings in all but one of those games, giving up 24 hits in 44 innings while striking out 34. His ERA as dropped to 3.16 and his average against has slimmed down from .305 to .231. The opposition has a .109 average off him from the sixth inning on.