Former KU Closer Selected to Triple-A All-Star Game
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Pacific Coast League (PCL) selected former Kansas closer Paul Smyth to the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game, to be played Wednesday, July 16 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
“It’s an honor to be selected to represent the PCL and the Sacramento Rivercats at the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game,” Smyth said. “It is an event full of talented ballplayers and it gives its participants a chance to showcase their abilities in front of some of the best competitors in the game. This is the first time I have been asked to participate in an All-Star game, so I was obviously excited and thankful for the opportunity.”
En route to earning recognition by the league as an All-Star selection, Smyth posted a 5-2 record on the bump with a 2.95 ERA. In 39 and two-thirds innings pitched, the hurler struck out 37 batters and posted an unprecedented 0.90 ERA in the month of June.
However, Smyth recognizes that this honor could not have been possible without his four years at Kansas.
“My four years at KU were critical in my development as a baseball player,” Smyth said. “The coaching staff always gives 100 percent of its time and effort to the betterment of its players. Their continuous support, as well as their advanced knowledge of the game, is what helped me get ready for the beginning of my professional career and effectively get me to where I am today.”
Along with the mentorship of the coaching staff, Smyth’s performance in a Kansas uniform earned him a shot at pro ball when the Oakland Athletics drafted him in the 35th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. He spent four years playing between Single-A and Double-A ball, before making his Triple-A debut in 2013 with the Sacramento Rivercats.
“I have learned a lot in the game of baseball since graduating from KU in 2009,” Smyth said. “At each level, the competition gets higher and higher, requiring a greater commitment as your career continues. The schedule of pro ball really helps you sort out what is important on a daily basis.”
Smyth was an integral part of the Jayhawk bullpen from 2006-09, and was part of two NCAA Tournament teams in 2006 and 2009. He made a school-record 129 appearances in four years and ranks second on the all-time saves list with 27. He was a two-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honoree and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection.
Smyth makes his All-Star debut Wednesday, July 16 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. First pitch is set for 6:07 p.m. and can be seen on MiLB.TV.
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