Railroaders Ink Young Hurler Smith
CLEBURNE, Texas - The Cleburne Railroaders announced Tuesday the signing of right-handed pitcher Jeremy Smith to a contract for the 2019 season.
Additionally, the Railroaders announced that infielder Leo Vargas and right-handed pitcher Seth Harvey have elected to retire. Both were acquired from the now-defunct Wichita Wingnuts on October 5.
A native of Houston, Smith joins the Railroaders with one season of professional baseball under his belt, having spent the 2017 campaign with the San Diego Padres Arizona League affiliate. The 25-year old posted solid numbers that season, going 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 18.2 innings. The peripheral stats backed up Smith's performance, as the righty allowed only 12 hits and racked up an impressive 26/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
"Jeremy is another young arm that we're very excited about," manager Brent Clevlen said. "He's got rookie eligibility, which is always a plus, and a repertoire of pitches that we feel gives him a chance to be in our starting rotation from day one."
Smith was selected by the Padres in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB Draft after wrapping up his collegiate career at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The 6'1, 195-pounder pitched two seasons for SWOSU, making 28 total appearances with 10 starts. In 84.0 innings, he allowed 79 hits, striking out 96 while walking 48. Smith finished 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in two seasons with the Bulldogs, helping SWOSU earn a share of the 2016 Great American Conference regular season championship.
Prior to his time at Southwestern Oklahoma State, Smith spent two seasons at Labette Community College in Kansas, making 19 starts over the course of 24 total appearances. After an up-and-down freshman season in which he posted an ERA of 8.27, Smith trimmed nearly three runs off of that mark the following year in 2015, finishing 3-5 with a 5.79 ERA with four complete games in 13 starts.
With the signing of Smith, the Railroaders now have seven players under contract for the 2019 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during Spring Training, which opens on May 6.
The 3rd season of Railroaders baseball and the club's pursuit of its first division title kicks off with a four-game home series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, beginning on Thursday, May 16. For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
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