Dakota Smith rejoined the Grizzlies prior to the 2018 season after a stint in the Boston Red Sox organization and enters his fourth year with Gateway and fifth in professional baseball in 2019.
Smith got off to a fantastic start to 2018: Over his first three starts, Smith tossed 20 innings (against Schaumburg and Lake Erie at home and Schaumburg again on the road) and allowed only two runs. But the wheels came off with injury issues that eventually ended his season in June.
Smith, 26, previously pitched for Gateway in 2015 and 2016, posting phenomenal numbers in his final year: 2-1 record with a 2.25 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 42 strikeouts (against only eight walks) in 40 innings pitched. The Leavenworth, Kan., native spent 2017 with the Class-A Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League.
Before starting with the Grizzlies in 2015, Smith played four years at the University of Kansas, where he served primarily as an outfielder. Smith was a career .280 hitter for the Jayhawks with 12 home runs and 126 RBIs in 197 games. He hit a career-best .337 during his junior campaign. Smith also appeared in 19 games out of the KU bullpen during his career posting a 1-2 record with a 3.67 ERA.
FRONTIER LEAGUE CAREER HIGHS (single-game)
Innings: 8, twice; @ Evansville (July 8, 2016); @ Schaumburg (May 27, 2018)
Strikeouts: 11, vs. Normal; June 11, 2016