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Will Smith (pitcher)

William Michael Smith (born July 10, 1989) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants.

Will Smith
201205025-0812a Will Smith.jpg
Smith with the Royals in 2012
Atlanta Braves – No. 51
Born: (1989-07-10) July 10, 1989 (age 30)
Newnan, Georgia
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
May 23, 2012, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Win–loss record26–22
Earned run average3.53
Career highlights and awards

Amateur careerEdit

Smith attended Northgate High School in Newnan, Georgia, where he played for the school's baseball team as a pitcher.[1] He enrolled at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida, where he continued his baseball career. After his freshman year at Gulf Coast, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Smith in the seventh round, with the 229th overall selection, of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

Making his professional debut with the Orem Owlz of the Rookie-level Pioneer League, Smith recorded 76 strikeouts while walking only six batters. He pitched for the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League in 2009, and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the Class A-Advanced California League in 2010.[3] On July 23, 2010, the Angels traded Smith along with Sean O'Sullivan to the Kansas City Royals for Alberto Callaspo.[4]

Pitching for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals of the Class AA Texas League in 2011, Smith and Kelvin Herrera combined to pitch a no-hitter on July 19, with Smith pitching the first seven innings.[5] Smith began the 2012 season with the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.[6]

Kansas City RoyalsEdit

The Royals promoted Smith to the majors for the first time on May 22, 2012.[6] By the end of the 2012 season, Smith had made 16 starts, his record was 6–9 with a 5.32 ERA. During the 2013 season, the Royals transitioned Smith into a relief pitcher. He spent the majority of the season at Omaha. He was called up multiple times to the Royals bullpen while also making a spot start.

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

Smith was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Norichika Aoki on December 5, 2013.[7] Smith had a 1–3 win-loss record and a 3.70 earned run average (ERA) in 2014.[8] On May 21, 2015, he was ejected from a game vs the Atlanta Braves for having a foreign substance on his right arm.[9] He was suspended for eight games, pending his appeal and his suspension was subsequently reduced to six games.[10] Smith had a 7–2 win-loss record and a 2.70 ERA in 2015.[11]

During spring training in 2016, Smith tore the lateral collateral ligament in his knee.[12] He returned to the Brewers on June 2.[13] By the end of the month of July, Smith had appeared in 27 games for Milwaukee, serving as the set-up man.

San Francisco GiantsEdit

On August 1, 2016, the Brewers traded Smith to the San Francisco Giants for Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac.[14][15]

On March 20, 2017, Smith was diagnosed with possible UCL damage in his left elbow, but no structural damage. He returned to California to seek second opinions with doctors, who petitioned that Smith would require surgery.[16]

On March 24, 2017, it was reported that Smith elected to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow, effectively ending his 2017 season with the San Francisco Giants.[17]

In 2018, he returned to action in mid-season and was used as a setup man and the closer.

In 2019, Smith was named the Giants' closer. He was selected to the All Star Game in 2019 after he converted 23 of 23 save opportunities in the first half of the season.

Atlanta BravesEdit

On November 14, 2019, Smith signed a three year contract with the Atlanta Braves worth $39 million, with a club option for a fourth year.[18]


  1. ^ "Former Northgate pitcher Smith 2-1 in rookie league - The Newnan Times-Herald". Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Milner, Brad (June 6, 2008). "Angels snag Smith: Gulf Coast freshman ready to begin professional baseball career". Archived from the original on February 28, 2009.
  3. ^ "Did the Angels give up too much in Will Smith?". The Orange County Register. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "Angels get Callaspo for two pitchers". July 23, 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  5. ^ "Second straight no-hitter in Kansas City Royals' farm system - ESPN". July 20, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Royals select contract of left-handed pitcher Will Smith from Omaha" (Press release). May 22, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  7. ^ Dutton, Bob. "Royals get outfielder Aoki from Brewers for Will Smith". Kansas City Star. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Haudricourt, Tom. "Will Smith fond of relief role with Brewers". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  9. ^ "Brewers' Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm". USA TODAY. May 21, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  10. ^ "Will Smith suspension reduced six games". Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  11. ^ Haudricourt, Tom. "Will Smith, expected to be Brewers co-closer, has sore knee examined". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  12. ^ "Brewers reliever Will Smith has torn knee ligament". Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  13. ^ "Reliever Will Smith on top of game since return from knee injury". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "Giants pay steep price, acquire reliever Will Smith from Brewers". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  15. ^ Haft, Chris. "Giants add left-hander Smith in deal with Brewers". Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  16. ^ Perkins, Owen. "Tommy John surgery recommended for Smith". MLB. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  17. ^ Townsend, Mark. "Spring Training 2017: Giants lose key reliever Will Smith to Tommy John surgery". Yahoo. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  18. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 14, 2019). "Braves sign All-Star LHP Smith to 3-year pact". Retrieved November 15, 2019.

External linksEdit