Cardinal Prospect Interview: Ross Smith

In his continuing interview series with the St. Louis Cardinal draft picks, Dustin Mattison talks with 14th round selection Ross Smith.

In the 14th round of the 2009 MLB First Year Player draft, the St. Louis Cardinals continued to select highly skilled athletes with upside. The pick was a player familiar to those in the Cardinal organization because the team had selected him before and he was part of the family.

The choice was outfielder Ross Smith out of Middle Georgia Community College. The Cardinals selected Smith out of high school in the 32nd round in 2006 while his father, Roger, is a scout for the team.

Instead of signing out of high school, he chose to attend the University of Auburn. Baseball America named him one of the top 50 incoming freshmen in all of college baseball that year. The Georgia native enjoyed a highly successful debut season with the Tigers, batting .288 while starting 51 games.

He would miss his sophomore season with a torn ACL. Instead of returning to Auburn, Smith chose to transfer to Middle Georgia College.

Led by Smith, MGC reached the junior college world series and had a total of three players drafted in this month's draft.

During his prep career, he participated in the 2005 Perfect Game National Showcase at Turner Field, the East Coast Professional Showcase, and the Area Code Games in Long Beach, California.

After signing with the Cardinals, Smith was assigned to the team's Rookie League affiliate at Johnson City.

Dustin Mattison: Can you tell me about draft day?

Ross Smith: Draft day was a little bit of a nervous day but mostly exciting.

DM: Were the Cardinals the team you expected to call your name?

RS: I had no idea who was going to draft me much less the Cardinals.

DM: Who contacted you to tell you that the Cardinals had selected you? Did it happen to be your father?

RS: Yes, it was my father. He handled all of my negotiations. It was the obvious choice.

DM: What's it like to have a father who is a scout?

RS: My dad being a scout has its perks but being gone nine or 10 months out of the year is not one of them.

DM: Can you take me through the decision to leave Auburn and transfer to Middle Georgia College?

RS: My decision was easy because if I was going to play junior college baseball I wanted to play for Craig Young and Middle Georgia.

DM: How is the knee?

RS: The knee is 100 percent healthy and ready for play.

DM: Can you give me a scouting report on Ross Smith?

RS: I am 6' 2", 200-pound outfielder that throws right and bats right with an average to plus arm plus speed and pretty good rhythm at the plate. Hopefully, that will give me a chance to hit at the major league level.

DM: When not playing baseball, how do you like to spend your time?

RS: I am a chill kind of guy so I like to be laid back and just go with the flow and wherever I end up is fine by me.

DM: Tell Cardinal fans something about you that they probably don't know but probably should.

RS: Cardinal fans probably don't know that I finished 5th in the country in the long jump at the Junior Olympics for Track and Field when I was 12.

I wish Ross the best of luck in his professional career with the Cardinals and thank him for taking the time to do the interview.

Dustin can be reached at

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