The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 12, 2009

Baseball: Line Mountain graduate Smink drafted by Astros

Left-handed pitcher Smink picked by Astros


A redshirt junior, Smink went 8-4 this spring for the Keydets and leaves with 17 career wins and nine saves, both ranking in the top five all-time at VMI. One of two freshmen All-Americans ever at VMI -- the other is fellow Line Mountain grad Kelly Sweppenhiser -- Smink is the 21st player ever drafted from VMI.

After saving seven games as a junior, Smink returned to the rotation this year, although he expects the Astros will bring him out of the bullpen wherever he is assigned.

The next step for Smink is signing a contract and getting assigned to one of the Astros' minor league affiliates. Smink expects a deal to get done in the next day or so, and then to be on the move quickly.

He could stay relatively close to home. The Astros have a team in the New York-Penn League -- which kicks off next weekend -- in Troy, N.Y., which would give Smink a chance to play in Williamsport. They also have a rookie league team in Greeneville, Tenn., and two Class A squads, one in Lexington, Kent., and another in Lancaster, Calif.

Nearly half -- 25 -- of the 51 players the Astros selected this year are pitchers. Of those selected, only six where left-handed, including Smink.

"It's just been overwhelming," Smink said. "It's exciting. This is what I wanted to do ever since I thought it could be an option. I have a degree in hand and now I get to go play some ball."

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