Curt Smith, who capped his senior baseball season at the University of Maine last spring by being named the America East Player of the Year, has continued his development in the professional ranks.
Smith, who spent last summer in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league system, has earned a spot on the Netherlands roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
He grew up on Curacao, a Caribbean Island located off the northern coast of Venezuela. It is among five islands that are part of the Netherlands Antilles. A governor general, appointed by the queen of the Netherlands as the crown’s representative, resides in Curacao, which is the capital of the Netherlands Antilles.
The 16-team World Baseball Classic will be held in four different locations during the first round. The Netherlands will compete in Pool D, which will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from March 7-11.
The Netherlands kicks off Pool D play March 7 at 11 a.m. against the Dominican Republic. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Smith is scheduled to wear uniform No. 43 during the Classic.
Smith, who moved to first base during his senior season at UMaine, started at first at Johnson City (Tenn.), a short-season Class A team. After being drafted in the 39th round by the Cardinals, he batted .378 with eight home runs, 49 runs batted in and 34 runs scored in 47 games, earning Appalachian League Player of the Year honors. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.414).
He then moved on to Class A Quad Cities (Iowa) of the Midwest League, where he hit .244 with 10 RBIs in 11 games.
Smith had a strong final season for the Black Bears in 2008, batting .403 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs. He posted 60 runs scored along with 17 doubles and three triples.
Smith boasted a .722 slugging percentage and a .498 on-base percentage and turned in a .995 fielding percentage.
Smith owns the UMaine record for career triples with 19 and ranks second in hits (300), third in doubles (60) and tied for third in RBIs (178). His 87 hits during 2006 are tied for fourth most in school history.