SALTDOGS’ CURT SMITH SOLD TO ST. LOUIS

SALTDOGS' CURT SMITH SOLD TO ST. LOUIS

Durham, N.C. — The contract of Lincoln Saltdogs IF Curt Smith was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization on Friday. Smith will report to Cardinals’ spring training, and will likely be assigned to Double-A Springfield once the regular season starts.

After joining the Saltdogs in July 2013, Smith had a excellent half-season in Lincoln, hitting .316 with five home runs and 27 RBI in 49 games. His 13 doubles were tied for third on the team.

The 27-year-old began the 2013 season in the Minnesota organization after spending 2012 at Jacksonville, the Miami Marlins’ Double-A affiliate.

Last season was the second stint in Nebraska’s capital for Smith; he also played 78 games for the Saltdogs in 2011, where he assembled a .335 average with 48 RBI. After the season, the native of Willemstad, Curacao, represented the Netherlands at the 2011 Baseball World Cup in Panama, where he won tournament MVP honors. Smith has also played for the Dutch squad at the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics.

Previously, Smith had spent the 2008 through 2010 seasons in the Cardinals’ organization. In 2008 at rookie-level Johnson City, he won the Appalachian League Player of the Year award, leading the circuit with a .378 average. The 27-year-old was originally drafted in the 39th round by St. Louis out of the University of Maine.

Photo: Courtesy Francis Gardler/Lincoln Journal Star