Smith was rushed to the majors in 1988 by the Atlanta Braves and was a model of inconsistency, losing fifteen games but hurling three shutouts and posting a respectable ERA of 3.69. The Braves hoped that he would join Tom Glavine and John Smoltz as developing aces. Unfortunately, Smith regressed in ’89, with his ERA jumping to 4.75.
Smith was constantly plagued by arm problems and entered the 1992 season with a career mark of 19-40. But he seemingly turned the corner that year, going 7-0 with a 2.05 ERA in twelve starts for Atlanta after being called up from Triple-A at midseason. Finally fully healthy, Smith displayed an above-average fastball mixed with a tough slider that was his out pitch. He was murder on right-handed batters, holding them to a .161 average in ’92.
Unfortunately, Smith’s performance in 1992 turned out to be fool’s gold. After going just 4-8 for the Braves in ’93, Atlanta shipped him to the New York Mets for Dave Gallagher. He was even less effective for the Mets, going 4-10 with a 5.55 ERA in 1994. New York cut him in December 1994, and he ended his career as a journeyman, bouncing between organizations and the minor leagues.