FORT WAYNE, IN. (WANE) – TinCaps outfielder Mallex Smith may lead all of professional baseball with 48 stolen bases and counting – but according to him – he wouldn’t even win a family footrace.
The second-year pro comes from a family of speedsters. His dad Michael played football at Florida A&M, the same school his mom Loretta ran track at. Older brother Michael Jr. was a one-thousand yard rusher at Arkansas. Sisters Lauren and Loreal both ran track in college, before Loreal ran the 110 meter hurdles professionally. So yes, Smith may not be the fastest athlete in his family, but his speed has taken the Midwest League by storm.
In just one-and-a-half seasons the Tallahassee, Florida native has 112 stolen bases. It’s why he’s a starter in this week’s Midwest League All-Star game and why following that game, he’s being called up to Advanced-A Lake Elsinore as the Padres move him along in their minor league system.
But speed alone hasn’t made Smith one of the most dynamic base runners in the minors – he’s a student of the game. Under his batting helmet in the dugout sits a worn notebook – it’s pages filled with observations about opposing pitchers. Smith fills this book throughout the season, studying it for future at-bats. It’s a habit he picked up from his dad who as a new employee at Winn Dixie years ago, carried a notebook where he jotted down product locations throughout the store. That attention to detail coupled with his blinding speed is what makes the future so bright for the TinCaps star.