Smith makes MLB debut with Indians Saturday

2013 West Virginia reliever becomes the 84th former Power player to debut in the bigs

Josh Smith is the 84th former Power player to make his MLB debut. (Robin Black)

By Kyle Youmans / West Virginia Power | May 26, 2019 10:29 AM

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (May 26, 2019) - After having his contract selected from Triple-A Columbus Saturday by the Cleveland Indians, pitcher Josh Smith became the 84th former Power player to make his MLB debut Saturday night in Cleveland. 

The Pleasant Hill, Missouri, native tossed 1.2 scoreless frames through the seventh and eighth innings, surrendering just three hits and notching his first three career strikeouts in Cleveland's 6-2 loss to the Rays.

Selected by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 2012 MLB draft out of Wichita State University, Smith navigated his way to West Virginia for the start of the 2013 campaign. During his time with the Power, Smith worked solely out of the bullpen, posting a 6.75 ERA in 13 appearances with 17 strikeouts compared to 10 walks. Smith's time was short-lived in West Virginia, as he was placed on the injured list May 26 and only made one more outing that season, a one-inning rehab stint with the GCL Pirates August 29.

Smith rebounded in 2014 with High-A Bradenton, boasting a 4-2 record with a 1.93 ERA en route to Midseason All-Star honors. He spent all of 2015 with Double-Altoona before splitting time in 2016 with the Curve and Triple-A Indianapolis. The Boston Red Sox claimed Smith off waivers following the 2016 campaign, igniting a two-year stay for Smith in the Red Sox organization.

After Smith elected free agency last offseason, the Indians signed him as a free agent on December 1 and placed him with Triple-A Columbus for Opening Day. The lefty sported a dominant 5-1 record with a 1.82 ERA over 17 relief outings before his call-up. The 29-year-old boasted a career 30-19 record with a 3.88 ERA, 16 saves and 404 strikeouts in 422.1 innings over 235 Minor League outings before his debut.

Smith is the seventh former Power player to make his big league debut this season, joining OFs Connor Joe and Harold Ramirez, INF Cole Tucker, LHP Taylor Hearn, and RHP Geoff Hartlieb and Montana DuRapau

West Virginia continues its four-game series against the Lexington Legends this afternoon at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m.

The Power is in the midst of their longest homestand of the year, and Sunday is another Kidz Sunday Funday, where kids 12 and younger can run the bases after the final out, courtesy of the SMART529 College Savings Program, as well play catch in the outfield before the game! Select Power players will also be available for postgame autographs. All Kidz Sunday Fundays are presented by the Shawnee Park Foundation. For tickets and more information, call us at 304-344-2287 or visit

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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