Former Kansas University pitcher Paul Smyth signed a contract with the Oakland A's organization Thursday, a week after being selected in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Smyth, who spent the past three seasons as KU's primary closer, is currently in Vancouver, B.C., where the right-hander will begin playing for the Vancouver Canadians — Oakland's single-A affiliate.
Despite a difficult start to his senior season in 2009, Smyth rebounded late in the year, finishing the Big 12 schedule with a 3.00 ERA and earning all-Big 12 honorable mention honors for the third straight season. The Atascadero, Calif., native also concluded his career second in school history in saves with 27.
“I’m thrilled that Paul was able to chase his dream of playing professional baseball,” KU coach Ritch Price said. “Over the last four years, he has exemplified what Kansas baseball is all about. Not only has he been an outstanding pitcher, but he is a tremendous student-athlete, finishing his degree in four years.”
Smyth became the fourth Jayhawk to sign a professional contract this year, joining pitcher Shaeffer Hall and Buck Afenir (New York Yankees), and shortstop David Narodowski (Arizona Diamondbacks).