Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Chris Smith, 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres #56
Those 84.1 innings that Chris pitched as a collegiate junior were more than he would total in the Orioles' organization. A left shoulder tear derailed his progress, and he had a cumulative 7.52 ERA in 24 games in the minors. The Birds cut their losses in 2005 after Smith allowed 25 runs in 26.1 innings of relief with the Delmarva Shorebirds. He finished the season - and his pro career - in the independent Atlantic League with the Long Island Ducks, putting up a much more reasonable 4.14 ERA in 25 appearances. The southpaw spent several years as the hitting and outfield coach at SUNY College at Old Westbury, though my Google-fu shows that he's no longer with the school. Meanwhile, the only real success story for Baltimore in the 2001 draft came in the form of fifth-round pick Jim Johnson, a right-handed pitcher from Union-Endicott High School in New York.