WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the signings of Canadian outfielder Tim Smith and Canadian left-handed pitcher Mark Hardy to contracts for the 2013 season.
Smith, 26, was a seventh round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in the 2007 MLB amateur draft. He played in their system for three years before joining the Kansas City Royals organization for two seasons and was in the Atlanta Braves system last season. In 2012, the product of Toronto hit .320 with a home run and six RBI in 15 games with Advanced-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League and .279 with two home runs and 22 RBI in 55 games with Double-A Mississippi of the Southern League. He is a career .303 hitter and has played parts of four seasons at Double-A. In 2008, he stole 21 bases at Single-A.
"He's a middle of the order, impact-type hitter," Forney said. "He's a very patient guy and career .300 hitter. He's a good outfielder and runs a lot better than what most people would think. We expect him to drive in some important runs for us."
Hardy, 24, was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 43rd round of the 2010 MLB amateur draft and played three seasons in their system. Hailing from Campbell River, B.C., Hardy played at four levels last year, but split most of the season between Advanced-A Lake Elsinore of the California League and Double-A San Antonio of the Texas League. He was 2-5 with a 5.62 ERA in 13 games, including seven starts, with Lake Elsinore and 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA in six games, including three starts, with San Antonio. He amassed 68 strikeouts in 70.2 innings, while allowing just 17 walks last season.
"Hardy is going to step into our rotation," Forney said. "He's a strike thrower and exactly what we look for when we're building a pitching staff and a starting rotation. He's somebody that's going to go out there and compete in the zone and not beat himself by allowing walks."
Smith and Hardy were on Team Canada's roster at the 2013 World Baseball Classic held last month and were part of the team that helped Canada qualify for the WBC last fall. Smith was held hitless in two at-bats, while Hardy didn't see any action on the mound. The pair also competed with fellow Goldeyes pitcher Chris Kissock at the 2011 Pan Am Games, winning gold, and 2011 Baseball World Cup, winning bronze.
The Goldeyes now have 23 players signed for the 2013 season, including 14 pitchers and nine position players. Training camp opens at Shaw Park on May 4.