MLB Draft: Right deal doesn’t come for Butler High School standout

Catcher Boston Smith will play college baseball at the University of Cincinnati

Boston Smith got the calls he expected on Monday and Tuesday during the 20-round Major League Baseball draft. But the money wasn’t enough to say, “Yes, go ahead and draft me. I will sign.”

So Smith, an 18-year-old catcher from Vandalia Butler High School, went undrafted and will follow through on his commitment to play at least three years for the University of Cincinnati and study exercise science.

“At first I was pretty disappointed,” Smith said. “A few teams were willing to offer me a couple hundred thousand dollars but, being a high school athlete, it wasn’t what I wanted, especially with my situation at UC. I’m not really too upset because I have a really great opportunity at Cincinnati to look forward to.”

ExplorePREVIOUS COVERAGE: Butler catch could face tough draft decision

Eight players with area ties were drafted, including Miamisburg graduate and first baseman Chris Meyers by the Detroit Tigers in the 13th round on Tuesday. Meyers, the 375th pick, was the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year at Toledo. He won the MAC triple crown by tying the school record with 15 home runs, batting .378 and driving in 55 runs.

Smith said he and his advisor were confident that there were two or three teams that would make a draftable offer. One of the teams that had shown interest in Smith finally called him Tuesday. Players drafted in rounds 11-20 are limited to signing bonuses of $125,000, but this team had bonus pool money left over from the first 10 rounds and was willing to spend it. Still, their offer wasn’t enough.

“I didn’t want to sell myself short and be stuck in the minor leagues as a high school athlete,” Smith said. “As a catcher it’s very difficult jumping straight into the minor leagues. I really wanted to make sure that financially it would’ve been the best fit for me.”

For now, Smith will continue his summer season with the Midland Redskins, who are based in Batavia. That team is preparing for the Connie Mack World Series in New Mexico from July 23-30.

Smith will compete for playing time as a freshman at UC with junior returning starter Joe Powell and another junior.

“I’ll be playing very, very competitive baseball,” Smith said. “I think that as a freshman there is a shot at me playing.”

The next time Smith will be eligible to be drafted he will be 21 after his junior season.

“I think just the growth I’ve made in the past year has been pretty crazy, and a lot of it’s been on my own or with the high school team,” he said. “So to do this for three years with a Division I program I think it’s really going to help me become the best player I can be.”

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