By Adam Byerly
As Texas State Baseball begins the 2016 season, many players who make up Coach Ty Harrington’s “Magnificent Seven” will be playing with the hope of having a future in the big leagues. In the meantime, there are some former Texas State Bobcats who are preparing for the start to their season in the majors.
Paul Goldschmidt came to Texas State to play baseball between 2007 and 2009. He was named the Southland Conference Player of the year in 2009. In his last season with Texas State, Goldschmidt was third-team All-American. During his three years at Texas State, he set the record for home runs (36), doubles (45), walks (110) and RBI’s (179.) Goldschmidt was selected in the eighth-round by the Arizona Diamondbacks 2009 MLB draft. Goldschmidt went on to enjoy success in the minor leagues, being called the Arizona Minor League Player of the Year in 2011. Goldschmidt got his call up to the majors on August 1, 2011, recording his first hit that day and followed up the next day with his first home run against CY Young winner Tim Lincecum. He hasn’t looked back since then with 116 home runs, 412 RBI’s, .299 batting average and was named an All-Star three times in his four and a half seasons in the majors. This season, the Diamondbacks will look to make some noise in the NL West with the addition of Zack Greinke to the starting rotation.
Thomas Field is a shortstop who played for the Bobcats in 2007 and 2008 before being drafted in the 24th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Field then worked his way up from single-A to the MLB and on September 11, 2011, he was called up and got his first base hit three days later. Field played in 16 games for the Rockies in 2011 and would hit for .271 with three RBI’s. Since that season, he has had stints with the Twins, Angels, Pirates, Rangers and currently plays for the Tigers. He has split time between the MLB and Triple-A since the 2011 season. He has been to the plate 117 times with 25 hits and two home runs in his MLB career. Last year with the Rangers, Field played in 14 games going 8-41 with 16 strikeouts.
Carson Smith, from Midland, Texas, played his freshman year pitching for Grayson County College before transferring to Texas State. As a Bobcat, Smith was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and 2010. The Seattle Mariners selected Carson Smith in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Smith then started climbing his way up the minors until he was called up on September 1, 2014, to play in the Seattle bullpen. Pitching into the 2015 season, Smith set a Mariners record with 20 appearances without giving up a run to start his MLB career. He was traded on December 7, 2015 to the Boston Red Sox. In his year and a half in the majors, Smith’s record as a pitcher is 3-5 with a 2.07 ERA in 78.1 innings. He has only given up 51 hits, and has struck out twice that with 102 K’s. As a right-handed pitcher, Smith dominates right-handed batters, holding them to a batting average of .169. He should be pitching out of the Boston bullpen in the 2016 season. Smith will be a key member of a rebuilding Red Sox bullpen and will mainly pitch 7th innings with Koji Uehara as the set-up man and the dominant Craig Kimbrel closing.
So while players like Tanner Hill and Lucas Humpal dream about representing the the Bobcats in Major League Baseball, players like Paul Goldschmidt, Thomas Field and Carson Smith show just how well Bobcats can perform on the biggest baseball stage of them all.
Featured image by Spencer Hall.