Published On: September 8th, 2016


Smith is the 161st former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former St. Cloud River Bat, Jake Smith, made his Major League debut for the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Smith is the 161st former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Smith, who played collegiately at Campbell University, played for the St. Cloud River Bats in 2011. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 48th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

In 2011 with the River Bats, Smith was 2-4 with a 5.51 ERA over nine appearances. He also struck out 19 batters in 32.2 innings pitched.

Smith started his Minor League career in 2012 with the Giants Rookie level team in the Arizona League. Over six games he didn’t allow an earned run in 8.2 innings pitched and also struck out 13 batters.

He was promoted for the 2013 season to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Short-Season A Northwest League. Over 19 games he was 2-2 with a 3.61 ERA. His high strikeout rate continued with 54 Ks in 42.1 innings pitched.

The 2014 season saw Smith spend time with two clubs. He began the year with the Augusta GreenJackets of the Lo-A South Atlantic League. After 48 games he was promoted to Hi-A with the San Jose Giants of the California League. Between the two teams he went a combined 3-6 with a 3.62 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 64.2 innings pitched.

Smith spent the 2015 season back in San Jose and went 4-4 with a 2.35 ERA over 56 appearances. He also struck out 118 batters in 84.1 innings pitched while walking 21.

Prior to being called up by the Padres, Smith began the 2016 season with the Richmond Flying Squirrels of the AA Eastern League. After 22 games he was released by the Giants after posting an 8.41 ERA over 22 games. He was then claimed by San Francisco and sent to the Giants Rookie level team in Arizona. After one game in Arizona he was promoted to AA with the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. Over six appearances with San Antonio he had a 1.59 ERA to go along with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.

In his Major League debut against the Red Sox, Smith entered in the 8th inning in relief of Kevin Quackenbush. He pitched one inning and allowed one run on two hits.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

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