Kansas closer Paul Smyth was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 35th round in today's MLB draft. Smyth pitched at KU for four years, serving as the team's closer for the last three. He finished his KU career with a school record 129 apperances. Paul is second on KU's all-time saves list with 27. Don Czyz holds the record with 31.
Smyth had an off senior year. He missed a few weeks with an injury. He was 1-5 with a 5.40 ERA and 9 saves. In 30 innings he gave up 34 hits, walked 10 and struck out 19. In his career Smyth went 14-15 with a 4.10 ERA. In 195.1 Innings he gave up 227 hits, walked 51 and struck out 147.
Paul will always be remembered by KU fans for his closer mentality. He always wanted the ball at the end of the game. Perhaps the highlight of Paul's career came this March when he saved three one run games in a row during KU's sweep of Texas in Lawrence.
Coach Price spoke several times of his plans to move Colton Murray into the closer role next season. Murray pitched as one of Smyth's set-up men throughout the 2009 season.
Here is Aman Reaka's scouting report on Paul:
RHP) SR. Paul Smyth, 6', 215 (5.40, 30 ip, 34 hits, 10 bb, 19 k, 6 HR)
My season preview for Smyth:
Smyth should be in line to get many accolades this season and be on many lists for many more. Smyth is a strike-thrower with a cutter in the 90-92 range. He also has a decent slider to go along with it. He has an odd arm angle that is difficult for most batters to hit. Smyth will have a chance to be one of the dominant pitchers in the league this year and if this young pitching staff can get the ball into his hands, I will expect great things from him.
Smyth ran into the injury bug a little bit this year and i think it really caused him to struggle throughout the middle portion of the season. He did show decent signs of progress at the end of the year however. He was in line to be one of the first Jayhawks taken this year but his lack of strikeouts and the injury will move him down quite a bit. Smyth has a cut fastball in the 88-92 range with a decent off speed pitch and a decent slider. His cutter gets a lot of movement and is very tough for right-handers to hit. With his arm angle and his potential upside, he is definitely worth a team taking a chance on. It will all depend on if his injury potential scares any teams away. I'd guess Smyth to go in rounds 30-40.