Cather Drafted by Nationals, Smith Selected by Cardinals

Cather Chosen in 33rd Round, Smith Goes in 39th Round

Billy Cather was selected in the 33rd round by the Washington Nationals.

Billy Cather was selected in the 33rd round by the Washington Nationals.

June 6, 2008

ORONO, Maine--University of Maine baseball players Billy Cather (Worcester, Mass.) and Curt Smith (Willemstad, Curacao) were each selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday afternoon. Cather went in the 33rd round as the 991st overall pick to the Washington Nationals. Smith was selected in the 39th round, 1175th overall, by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cather, who recently competed his junior year, hit .328 for the Black Bears this past season with 35 runs scored and 25 RBI. He had seven doubles and three home runs. Cather led the Black Bears in stolen bases with 15 on the season.

Cather is an outstanding outfielder, known for his ability to track down balls that were thought to be over his head. He started his collegiate career going 134 straight games without committing an error.

Cather was named to the America East Second Team as a sophomore and also earned a spot on the America East All-Tournament Team that year.

Cather has seen action in 138 career games. He has scored 94 runs and driven in 61. He has 20 career doubles, one triple and seven home runs. Cather has stolen 44 career bases.

Cather has been named a Maine Scholar-Athlete Award winner and also named to the America East Academic Honor Roll. He has played for the Vermont Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League the past two seasons. Cather led the Mountaineers to back-to-back NECBL championships in each of those years.

Smith had a stellar four-year career for the Black Bears. In addition to earning Player of the Year honors this season, he was also named to the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association First Team. In 2007, he was named to the America East Second Team, the America East All-Tournament Team, the NEIBA All-New England team, the 2007 Wallace Watch List and the NCBWA Preseason Third Team. He has also excelled the past three summer with the Vermont Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, leading them to back-to-back champions in each of the past two seasons.

Smith, who started all 49 games for the Black Bears in 2008, capped his outstanding career by hitting .403 for the Black Bears this season. He scored a team-high 60 runs and drove in 37. He hit 17 doubles and 11 home runs to go along with three triples. Smith had a .722 slugging percentage and a .498 on-base percentage. He finished second on the team in stolen bases with 12 and posted an impressive .995 fielding percentage at first base. Smith finished the season with 22 multi-hit games. He becomes the just the 15th player in Maine history to hit .403 or better in a season. He has the third highest batting average in a season with players having 175 at-bats or more.

Smith led America East in batting average (.403), slugging percentage (.722), runs scored (60) and total bases (127), finished second in on-base percentage (.498), tied for second in hits (71) and home runs (11), third in walks (32) and tied for fifth in doubles (17). Smith is 27th in the nation in runs per game, 31st in the nation in slugging percentage, 37th in on-base percentage and 38th in batting average.

Smith left his mark on the Maine record books as well. He finished his career with a .371 batting average. He is Maine's all-time leader in triples with 19, ranks second in hits (300), third in doubles (60), and tied for third in RBI (178). He scored 199 runs in his career.

-U-M-

Related Stories