Cade Smith can officially say he is a Major League Baseball draft pick.
The Chilliwack Cougars grad was selected in the 16th round of the MLB draft on Wednesday, doing 466th overall to the Minnesota Twins.
The six-foot-five right-handed hurler went a little later then he’d hoped. Last week there was talk the Canadian National Junior Team pitcher might be nabbed within the top 10 rounds, but after working out for a Twins scout last week, he was pretty sure it’d be Minnesota taking him.
The Abbotsford native and MEI student must now decide whether to turn pro or collegiate.
The Twins could potentially offer the 18 year old a contract in the mid six-figures and sent him to developmental rookie ball in Florida.
Smith is also sitting on a full-ride scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii.
“It’s based on what they’re going to offer me for a contract to play,” Smith said. “I either go to Florida and start my baseball career or start my university life in Hawaii.
“I’ve always preferred a warm climate.”
Smith has the opportunity to represent Canada at the World Junior Baseball Championships in Ajax, ON. this summer. He’ll be one of 14 U-21 pitchers invited to a tryout camp Aug. 17-31 and his coach/mentor Shawn Corness plans to track him closely.
“Cade was a tall, thin, gangly kid that was short of technique but showed a tremendous will and passion for pitching” said Corness, the head instructor at The Yard Baseball Academy, who started working with Smith when he was 12 years old. “Both his mom and dad were tall athletes and excellent people on and off the field and we knew we had something special in Cade.
“We were thrilled for Smitty when he got the call from the Twins organization and regardless of what path he chooses, he is equipped to excel at all of them.”