Former LSU shortstop Josh Smith has been promoted to the Texas Rangers active roster, and he will join the club in Arlington, Texas, Monday night for its game versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
Smith, a Baton Rouge native and Catholic High graduate, is the 82nd Major Leaguer in the illustrious history of LSU Baseball. He was the second-round selection of the New York Yankees in the 2019 MLB Draft and was traded last July from the Yankees to the Rangers.
Smith is the third former LSU player to reach the big leagues in 2022, joining infielder Kramer Robertson of the St. Louis Cardinals and catcher Michael Papierski of the San Francisco Giants.
Smith is rated among the top 10 of all Rangers prospects, and he made his debut at the Triple-A level this season, hitting .273 in 191 plate appearances for the Round Rock (Texas) Express.
Originally drafted as a shortstop, Smith has split time between shortstop, third base and center field this season in Triple-A.
Smith played at LSU from 2017-19, and he was LSU’s starting shortstop in 2019 after missing most of the 2018 season with a stress reaction in his vertebrae. He was the starting third baseman for LSU’s 2017 College World Series runners-up team, earning Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC recognition.
Smith, a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll as a finance major, was LSU’s leading hitter in 2019, batting .346 (89-for-257) with 17 doubles, two triples, nine homers, 41 RBI, 72 runs and 20 steals in 24 attempts.
He finished the 2019 season No. 4 in the Southeastern Conference in runs scored (72), No. 6 in batting average (.346), No. 6 in stolen bases (20), No. 8 in hits (89), and No. 10 in on-base percentage (.433).
Smith was named to the 2019 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament team after hitting .400 (4-for-10) with one double, one triple, one homer, three RBI and five runs. He was voted to the 2019 SEC All-Tournament Team after hitting .360 (9-for-25) with two doubles, one homer, four RBI and five runs.
Smith is the 24th LSU player coached by former head coach Paul Mainieri (2007-21) to reach the big leagues. LSU has had at least one former player make his MLB debut in 29 of the past 32 seasons.