Smith Receives MLB Call from Diamondbacks
Pitcher Becomes 19th LSU Player Coached by Paul Mainieri to Reach the Big Leagues
BATON ROUGE, La. — Former LSU pitcher Riley Smith (MLB Bio) has been promoted to the MLB active roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Smith, who pitched at LSU in 2016, will join the Diamondbacks in Phoenix for their series versus the Colorado Rockies.
Smith, the Diamondbacks’ 24th-round draft choice in 2016, is the 19th LSU player coached by Paul Mainieri to reach the big leagues. Smith has excelled in Arizona’s minor league organization, posting 23 wins and a 3.64 ERA in 98 career appearances.
Smith, a native of Lufkin, Texas, joined the LSU squad for the 2016 season after transferring from San Jacinto North College in Houston. He was selected in the 31st round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but elected to enroll at LSU.
Smith appeared in 12 games for the Tigers in 2016, posting a 2-1 record in 22.1 innings with 11 strikeouts. He turned in a brilliant outing in his first career LSU start on May 11 at Notre Dame, firing six scoreless innings to earn his first win as a Tiger.
Smith limited Notre Dame to four hits with no walks and four strikeouts, throwing 65 pitches in the outing. He later earned a relief win on May 19 over Florida.
The other Mainieri-coached LSU players to reach the major leagues are infielder Alex Bregman, pitcher Aaron Nola, infielder DJ LeMahieu, infielder Austin Nola, pitcher Kevin Gausman, pitcher Nick Goody, outfielder Andrew Stevenson, pitcher Ryan Eades, infielder JaCoby Jones, infielder Ryan Schimpf, outfielder Mikie Mahtook, pitcher Nick Rumbelow, pitcher Louis Coleman, pitcher Charlie Furbush, pitcher Ryan Verdugo, pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, infielder Matt Clark and outfielder Jake Fraley.
LSU has had at least one former player make his MLB debut in 27 of the past 30 seasons. The Tigers have produced a total of 77 Major Leaguers during their illustrious baseball history.