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Former LSU Tiger Josh Smith called up by Rangers, gets first career start

Texas Rangers' Josh Smith connects for a single to left in the sixth inning of a baseball game...
Texas Rangers' Josh Smith connects for a single to left in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Monday, May 30, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)(Tony Gutierrez | AP)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 8:13 AM CDT
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ARLINGTON, Texas. (WAFB) - Former LSU Tiger infielder Josh Smith got called up by the Texas Rangers on Monday, May 30, and got his first career start at third base against the Tampa Bay Rays.

In his first start in the MLB, Smith was 3-for-4 at the plate, all three hits were singles, and two runs scored. His three hits tied the Rangers record for most hits in an MLB debut. Smith was rated as the No. 7 overall prospect in the Rangers farm system and has played third base, shortstop, and center field for the Rangers Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express.

Smith, became the 82nd Major Leaguer in Tiger history, he also joined two other Tigers who made their MLB debut this season, joining former catcher Michael Papierski with the San Francisco Giants and infielder Kramer Robertson with the St. Louis Cardinals.

At the Triple-A level he is hitting .273 in 191 plate appearances with four home runs, 29 RBI, eight stolen bases, and 44 hits.

The former Tiger was drafted in the second round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees and was traded last July to the Rangers as part of the Joey Gallo deal.

A native of Baton Rouge, he played for coach Paul Mainieri from 2017-2019 and was the starting shortstop in 2019 for the Tigers, and as a freshman, he was the starting third baseman for LSU’s 2017 College World Series runner-ups team. He was named a Freshman All-American that season as well as an All-SEC Freshman selection.

In 2019, he was LSU’s leading hitter collecting 89 hits going 89-for-257 at the plate for a .346 average, 17 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 41 RBI, and 72 runs scored along with 20 steals.

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