Former Jayhawk Paul Smyth Named a Top 50 Prospect

Jan. 13, 2011


Former Kansas relief pitcher Paul Smyth has been named a Top 50 prospect in the Oakland Athletics’ minor league system by Smyth, a 2009 draft pick by the A’s, is listed at No. 32 in the system.

Smyth pitched for Stockton, Oakland’s High-A affiliate, during the 2010 season and registered 28 saves, which tied him for second in the California League. He made 58 relief appearances last season, and allowed 68 hits in 77 2/3 innings on the hill. The former Jayhawk posted a 3.01 ERA and struck out 94 hitters.

According to the article: “Unlike many sidearmers, including current A’s reliever Brad Ziegler, Smyth has always thrown sidearm, so he has more consistency with his release point than many pitchers who learned the motion later in their careers…(Smyth) can reach 93 MPH with (his fastball) and regularly sits in the 88-91 MPH range with a lot of sinking movement. His arm angle isn’t quite as low as Ziegler’s, but he does hide the ball well, especially from right-handed hitters, who only had a .577 OPS against him in 2010. Smyth also has an excellent slider and a solid change-up.”

“I tell you what, Smyth is something,” A’s Minor League Pitching Coordinator Gil Patterson is quoted as saying in the article. “No fear. Comes right after you, here you go. He is not afraid to go right after you.”

Smyth completed his collegiate career in 2009, appearing in a school-record 129 games in a Jayhawk uniform. His 27 career saves rank second all-time at KU, behind Don Czyz (31). In 2009, Smyth was selected to his third-straight Academic All-Big 12 team and graduated with a degree in business marketing. He has served as an intern in KU’s athletic department during the offseason.

The article predicts that Smyth will likely open the 2011 season in Double-A, at Midland, and may reach Triple-A Sacramento by the end of the year.