Curt Smith: An improbable Cardinals rebound

Who says you can't come home again? That is exactly what an international and independent league star has done.

A second member of the Lincoln Saltdogs of the independent American Association has joined the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Unlike infielder Vance Albitz two years ago, first baseman Curt Smith is returning to his original professional home.

Smith in 2013
First drafted by the Cards in the 39th round in 2008, the now-27-year-old native of Curacao started strongly. After leaving the University of Maine, Smith was the Appalachian League Rookie of the Year in his first professional season, winning the batting and RBI titles. He was named our number 39 prospect in the system that winter.

Smith reached Double-A Springfield in 2009 and played there for the entire 2010 season, when he was named a mid-season Texas League All-Star. He has been well-traveled since his release by the Cardinals at the end of spring training camp in 2011.

The right-handed hitter played for Lincoln in 2011, in Double-A for the Marlins in 2012, and in 2013 with the Twins Double-A club before heading back to Lincoln mid-summer after his release.

The veteran of international play for the Netherlands starting in 2009 led his squad to the 2011 Baseball World Cup title while earning tournament MVP honors, and hit .321 in the 2013 World Baseball Classic as the Dutch team reached the semi-finals.

In addition to first base, the stocky 5-foot-10, 210-pounder can play some third base and corner outfield. His career line is .297/.342/.455 in 2,093 plate appearances over 528 games. Smith has 56 career home runs and 312 RBI.

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