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Tim Smith (minors04)

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Timothy James Smith

BR Minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Tim Smith had a career average over .300 in the affiliated minors.

Smith was named Player of the Year by the Toronto Star News after his senior year in high school. The New York Mets chose him in the 21st round of the 2004 amateur draft but he opted for college. In two years at junior college, he excelled. He hit .468 and slugged .772 in 2005. The Milwaukee Brewers picked him in the 17th round of the 2005 amateur draft but he again opted not to sign. As a sophomore, he "fell" to .450 with a .700 slugging percentage and 23 steals. He played summer ball for the Mankato Moondogs, making the league All-Star team. Baseball America named him the #6 prospect in the Northwoods League. In junior college, Smith set school records for career average (.459), OBP (.547), slugging (.736) and steals (41).

Transferring to Arizona State University, he hit .333/.443/.446 as a junior. He helped his team make it to the 2007 College World Series.

Tim Smith was selected by the Texas Rangers in the seventh round of the 2007 amateur draft. He made his pro debut with the Spokane Indians, hitting .284/.396/.383 in 23 games.

For the 2008 Clinton Lumber Kings, Smith batted .300/.359/.450 with 21 steals in 30 tries. He was fourth in the Midwest League in batting average and third in hits (144). He played in the Midwest League All-Star Game, winning MVP honors with a 10th-inning homer, but did not make the post-season All-Star team as Ben Revere, Evan Frey and Andrew Lambo were picked in the outfield. He also was named Player of the Week at one point in August.

In 2009, Smith played for the AZL Rangers (4 for 12, 2B, HR), the Bakersfield Blaze (.333/.413/.475 in 35 G) and the Frisco RoughRiders (.309/.380/.439 in 36 G). He starred for Team Canada as their primary DH in the 2009 Baseball World Cup, hitting .414/.471/.690 with 10 runs and 11 RBI in 9 games; he hit a three-run homer off Byung-oh Noh and a grand slam off Joakim Claesson. Only Rene Tosoni had a better slugging percentage for Canada and Smith edged Tosoni for the best OPS by one point.

Texas dealt him to the Kansas City Royals with Manny Pina for Danny Gutierrez. With the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, he hit .306/.372/.453. Had he qualified, he would have been 5th in the Texas League in average and tied J.B. Shuck for 7th in OBP. He batted .311/.365/.508 with 49 RBI in 69 games for the 2011 Naturals and also played four games for the AZL Royals. He missed almost two months due to back injuries; had he qualified, he would have been 4th in average and 6th in slugging in the TL.

He also played for Team Canada at the 2011 Baseball World Cup, hitting .365/.489/.583 as a corner outfielder. He scored 8 runs and drove in 11, leading Canada in runs and RBI (3 over Brock Kjeldgaard in RBI), as well as OBP; he was second to Jonathan Malo in average and second to Cole Armstrong in slugging. For the event, he led in hit-by-pitch (3), tied for third in RBI (even with Alexei Bell, Stefan Welch and Yulieski Gourriel, behind Curt Smith and Fernando Seguignol) and was 9th in OBP. Canada won the Bronze Medal for their best finish at a Baseball World Cup.

Canada kept rolling at the 2011 Pan American Games and Smith again played a key role, batting .350/.435/.550 with five runs in five games, leading Canada in runs and second to Jimmy Van Ostrand in hits. He homered in the opener against Puerto Rico, had three hits in beating host Mexico and scored the winning run in a 2-1 victory over Team USA in the Gold Medal game, singling off Andy Van Hekken in the 6th and coming home on a Van Ostrand double. It was Canada's first Pan American Games Gold in baseball. The 2011 Canadian National Team would be enshrined in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

He signed with the Atlanta Braves as a minor league free agent and split 2012 between the Lynchburg Hillcats (.320/.452/.460 in 15 G) and Mississippi Braves (.279/.346/.364 in 45 G). Smith was 4 for 13 with a double, triple, walk, five runs and RBI in three games as Canada swept their way through the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He tied Tyson Gillies for second on the team in runs scored, four behind Van Ostrand. In all the qualifiers, he tied for third in runs, behind Van Ostrand and Alan Schoenberger. A bench player in the 2013 World Baseball Classic itself as Justin Morneau took Smith's DH role and Adam Loewen and Michael Saunders were the corner outfielders, he went 0 for 2. He came up in the bottom of the 8th with a 5-4 deficit against the US, the bases loaded and two outs, pinch-hitting for Cale Iorg. He grounded out against Steve Cishek and Canada lost.

Moving on the independent leagues in 2013, the veteran posted disappointing numbers for the Winnipeg Goldeyes (.254/.315/.328 in 21 G) and produced even less for the 2014 Les Capitales de Québec (.236/.327/.244, one extra-base hit in 35 G). He also now had moved from the outfield to first base. He rebounded with the Perth Heat in the 2014-2015 Australian Baseball League, producing at a .300/.378/.424 clip with 27 runs and 27 RBI in 47 games to help them to a title; he even stole 9 bases in 11 tries, showing some speed again. He tied for 10th in the ABL in swipes.

Back with Les Capitales for 2015, he then was with Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games. He split the DH role with Kjeldgaard and went 5 for 12 wit ha walk, two runs and a RBI; Canada retained its title, becoming the second nation (after Cuba) to win multiple baseball Golds at the Pan Ams. Smith went 0 for 1 in the Gold Medal game after pinch-hitting for Kjeldgaard in the 7th; Canada went on to win in 10.

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