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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Ed Smith got a fresh start in Brewers system; Saw nine seasons, briefly made AAA

The White Sox imposed a hitting style on their players, but Ed Smith felt it wasn't for him, The South Bend Tribune wrote in 1991.

After a trade to the Brewers, Smith recalled to The Tribune how he felt like an outcast when he chose not to hit the way the team wanted him to.

"Now, I've got a fresh start," Smith told The Tribune after the trade. "I'm swinging the bat the way I was a couple years ago."

Smith spoke to The Tribune in his fifth season as a pro. He went on to see time in four more. He briefly made AAA, but he didn't make the majors. 

Smith's career began in 1987, taken by White Sox in the seventh round of the draft out of Pemberton Township High School in New Jersey.

Smith started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .237 over 32 gamers. He then arrived at South Bend for 1988 and stayed there for 1989. He hit .232 his first year there and .246 his second.

In an August 1988 contest, the third baseman robbed a hitter of extra bases and runs in the 11th inning of a contest with a "sterling play," The Tribune wrote. Smith pointed to his manager, Steve Dillard.

"A lot of time I look to see what Coach Dillard wants me to do, as far as how to play the line," Smith told The Tribune. "I'm still young and inexperienced."

Smith moved to high-A Sarasota and AA Birmingham for 1990. He hit .247 over 72 games at Birmingham. He then started 1991 back at Sarasota, before the trade to the Brewers. He finished out the year at single-A Beloit and hit .262 in 61 games.

Smith started 1992 at high-A Stockton. He hit .262 over 99 games. He also saw 22 games at AA El Paso. He got off to a hot start there, The El Paso Times wrote.

"Right now, it's one of those things where I'm hot," Smith told The Times after hitting two home runs and knocking in 10 over his first seven games. "The other pitchers don't know me yet. It's hard to see a guy for the first time."

Smith played 1993 entirely at El Paso and hit .294. He moved to the Cubs system and AA Orlando for 1994, then the Indians for 1995. He played 1995 largely with AA Canton-Akron, but also saw 13 games at AAA Buffalo. That season in the Indians system proved his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,832
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,544-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

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