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Kyle Smith Signs UDFA Contract With D'Backs

Good news for a good, tough kid.

Man hugs all around!
Man hugs all around!
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Let's face it, these last few weeks have offered precious few opportunities for feel good stories about Vanderbilt Baseball.  Here is one: Kyle Smith, who has battled slumps, injury, and vision problems from running into the left field wall at full speed trying to make a play during his freshman year, has been offered an undrafted free agent contract by the Arizona Diamondbacks to continue his dream of playing baseball.

In my pre-draft primer, I wrote the following about Kyle Smith:

Seniors Who Might Get a Shot at Minor League Ball

1B/OF Kyle "Zombie" Smith

It would not surprise me if Kyle Smith became the latest Vanderbilt Commodore to get a coaching job with the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames, or as a Graduate Assistant with the Dores, but if he wants to give playing another go, he might get the opportunity.

I still see coaching in his future, as Tim Corbin repeatedly called Smith the team's leader this year, despite his lack of playing time, but if the Diamondbacks' medical team can get his vision issue fully sorted out, there's enough pop in his bat for him to give minor league ball a try.  It would not surprise me if Zombie becomes a fan favorite in short season rookie league ball, but more than that, I hope he uses this opportunity to glean more knowledge of the game from he people who live it, and comes back to Hawkins Field as an assistant coach in the future.