June 6, 2012
TALLAHASEE, Fla. -- Stanford closed out the major league draft with two more players drafted as Eric Smith and Tyler Gaffney found out their draft status on a stop-over in Amarillo, Texas, as the team was headed for the Super Regional matchup with Florida State.
Smith, a La Canada resident was drafted by his hometown Dodgers in the 18th round. Gaffney, from San Diego, was the second Cardinal to be drafted by the Pirates, going in the 24th round. Mark Appel was the No. 8 overall selection to the Pirates, one of two first round selections from The Farm.
Smith, who is in his first year as a starting catcher, leads the Cardinal in hitting at .330 after the converted infielder started 48 games at catcher. The Cardinal play at FSU on Friday at 4 p.m. PT and Saturday at 3 p.m. PT. Sunday's game, if necessary, is at 4 p.m. PT in the best-of-three series.
Smith continues a long line of starting Stanford catchers they went drafted, dating back to 1992. That list has included major leaguers Donny Lucy, A.J. Hinch, Ryan Garko and Jason Castro.
Gaffney, who had seven of his 12 career touchdowns last year for the Fiesta Bowl-bound Cardinal at running back, is a career .300 average in 159 games with 132 runs and 76 RBIs. He was a two-time honorable mention pick the last two years, batting .326 heading into the year. He is hitting .240 with 48 runs in 2012.
Said Baseball America, “Gaffney has a wide, muscular build because of football, so there is some tightness and stiffness to his game.... Despite his strength, he profiles as a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter, which makes him a little tough to profile as an everyday corner outfielder. He could become a solid fourth outfielder.”
Stanford had seven current players drafted
Major League Draft Picks in 2012
Mark Appel, No. 8 to Pirates (1st round)
Stephen Piscotty, No. 36 to Cardinals (1st round)
Brett Mooneyham, No. 111 to Nationals (3rd round)
Kenny Diekroeger, No. 133 to Royals (4th round)
Jake Stewart, No. 304 to Tigers (9th round)
Eric Smith, No. 566 to Dodgers (18th round)
Tyler Gaffney No. 736 to Pirates (24th round)