Some belated skinny on the Yankees 5th round draft pick this year – left fielder Christopher Smith – via the Compton Bulletin:
Just over a week after graduating from Centennial High School, local baseball star Christopher Smith boarded a plane last Thursday headed for Florida to train and play rookie ball for the New York Yankees.
Smith, who said he’s been playing baseball since his early T-ball days at Gonzales and Enterprise parks, was June 5 drafted by the major league organization in the fifth-round pick of this year’s First-Year Player Draft. He signed with the Yankees June 13 at his grandmother’s home.
“It was very exciting,” said the 18-year-old Yankees farmhand, who up until signing was also contemplating going with USC, to which he had verbally committed. What makes it even more exciting, he said, is that he’s a big Yankees fan.
Smith’s stats are impressive. His batting average alone – .708 with 12 home runs in 20 games – is standout, being much higher than that of most major league professional players, according to Smith’s coach. Additionally this past season, Smith had 43 RBIs and posted slugging and on-base averages of 1.361 and .744, respectively. In 72 at-bats, he struck out a mere three times.
According to Maxpreps.com, Smith’s batting average was second in the state and in the nation. His slugging and on-base averages ranked first in the state and second in the nation.
Coming into the draft, Baseball America did not have Smith listed as one of the Top 200 Prospects for this year. Pretty amazing, huh? Second highest OPS in the nation and not in the Top 200? It probably has something to do with the level of his competition.
It will be interesting to see how Smith handles the Gulf Coast League this summer. Stay tuned.