Buies Creek – Another former Camel will join a Major League Baseball club this week, with former Campbell righty Jake Smith getting the call from the San Diego Padres.
Smith will make the jump from Double-A San Antonio, where he fashioned a 1.59 ERA in six appearances, converting one save.
The North Augusta, S.C. native was claimed off waivers on July 6 after being released by San Francisco. He pitched in 22 games for the Giants’ Double-A affiliate Richmond to begin the season.
Smith joins former Campbell teammate Matt Marksberry (Atlanta Braves) as Camels to see time on MLB rosters this season. Marksberry, a left-handed reliever, is currently on the disabled list.
Smith enjoyed a breakout season for the Class A Advanced San Jose Giants in 2015 and was added to an Francisco’s 40-man roster in November of that year, earning a trip to Major League Spring Training prior to this season.
The former Campbell right-hander won the fan vote for the 2015 Minor League Baseball Relief Pitcher of the Year, and was voted the San Jose Giants’ 2015 Relief Pitcher of the Year. He was also named Baseball America’s “Top Reliever” in the California League in a survey of league managers. All 16 of the right-hander’s saves came in the second half and his 118 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings was tops among all relievers in the league.
In his fifth professional season, Smith has also seen time with the Arizona League Giants, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and Augusta GreenJackets. Smith was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2011 (48th round) after one season at Campbell.
Seven former Camels are now playing affiliated pro baseball. Ryan Thompson (Corpus Christi | Houston Astros) is in Double-A ball. Cedric Mullins (Delmarva | Baltimore Orioles) and Matt Sergey (Stockton | Oakland A’s) are in Single-A, while Heath Bowers (Vermont | Oakland A’s) and Steven Leonard (Grand Junction | Colorado Rockies) are in short-season leagues. Contributed photo