Gainesville, FL – Santa Fe freshman outfielder Mallex Smith heard his name called for the second time in as many years at the Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft, but this time quite a bit earlier. Smith, one of the fastest players in the entire draft, was selected by the San Diego Padres in the fifth round with the 165th overall pick. He was drafted in the 13th round in 2011 after a stellar high school career at Tallahassee Rickards. The Saints have now had a player go in the top five round three out of the last four years.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of competing against the best competition in baseball and being able to focus on my craft,” said Smith. “Being at Santa Fe taught me how to be a great competitor and also how to work with great talent around me.”
Smith joins four previous Saints that saw their draft position rise significantly after a year spent in the Santa Fe system. In 2009 Keon Broxton became the highest drafted SF player since the MLB shifted to a single June Draft in 1987, when he went in the third round, a year after going in the 29th out of high school. In 2010 RHP Ken Wise was selected in the 19th round after going undrafted in high school. In 2011 LHP Chris Lee went in the fourth round a year after going in the 37th and Ben O’Shea went in the 10th round after going undrafted out of high school.
“We are all excited for Mallex,” said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. “He had a great year and is a great young man. I’m glad we were able to help him improve his draft status. We wish him the best of luck and know that he will be a great representative of Santa Fe College.”
As a freshman at SF, Smith hit .380 (62-for-163) with nine doubles, seven triples, one homerun, 17 RBI and 31 stolen bases, the third highest total in Santa Fe history.
Complete Santa Fe College draft history can be found here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?key_school=2fab854b&exact=1&query_type=key_school
For complete schedules and more information on Saints Baseball, please visit www.sfcollege.edu/athletics. To see game photos and other updates, follow Santa Fe College Athletics on Facebook.