Former Jayhawk Pitcher Smyth Signs with Oakland Athletics

June 18, 2009


Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth has become the fourth former Jayhawk to sign with a major league organization this week, when he inked a contract with the Oakland Athletics Thursday.

Smyth reported to Vancouver, B.C., where he will begin his professional career with the Vancouver Canadians – a Class A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. He was drafted by the A’s in the 35th round (1,053 overall).

Smyth, a senior right-handed pitcher from Atascadero, Calif., recorded nine saves in his senior year, giving him 27 in his Jayhawk career. Smyth struggled early in the season but posted a 3.00 ERA in Big 12 games, and did not have a blown save over the final two months of 2009. The senior tallied 19 strikeouts in 30 innings of relief and held opponents to a .279 batting average. He was named First Team Academic All-Big 12 for the second straight season.

The 6-foot righty posted 27 saves in his four years with the Jayhawks, which ranks second all-time. He also recorded a career record of 14-15 with an ERA of 4.10. He recorded 147 career strikeouts at Kansas.

“I’m thrilled that Paul was able to chase his dream of playing professional baseball,” head coach Ritch Price said. “Over the last four years, he has exemplified what Kansas baseball is all about. Not only has he been an outstanding pitcher, but he is a tremendous student-athlete, finishing his degree in four years.”

Following the 2009 baseball season, Smyth will return to KU to serve as an intern under Associate Athletics Director Sean Lester for the 2009-10 school year.