Dylan Smith, who graduated from Stafford High School just a few weeks ago, made history for the Spartans.
Smith, an 18-year-old Stafford native, was drafted in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres. He was selected as a starting pitcher.
“It’s a blessing and an honor to be drafted,” Smith said.
He became the first Stafford High baseball player to be drafted out of high school and also the highest draft pick among Stafford graduates. In 2000, former Stafford baseball players Brian Steffek and Jason Pekar were drafted out of HBU and University of Houston in the 20th and 30th rounds, respectively.
Smith, who turned 18 on May 28, was only a few days old the last time a Stafford player was drafted by MLB.
Coincidentally, all three Spartans were drafted by California-based franchises.
Smith grew up in Stafford and enrolled at Stafford High School before his junior year, due to the strong academic programs at the Stafford College and Career Center.
He was a two-sport standout, as he also played wide receiver for the Spartans football team. As a senior, he led the Spartans to their first victory over Bellville in more than a decade.
“It couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” Stafford Athletic Director Ken Savanah said. “He worked countless hours on baseball and football.”
In April, Smith signed with the University of Alabama baseball program. He will have to make a decision by early July on whether to go to Tuscaloosa or into the Padres’ system.
If he chooses the professional route, the Padres will pay for his college education. If he chooses college, he will be eligible again for the MLB draft in 2021.
Regardless of which path he chooses, Smith plans to complete a degree in mechanical engineering.