Former Marlin Caleb Smith (’11) makes MLB Debut with Yankees

Updated July 18 2017

2011 Morehead City Marlin and former Sam Houston State University left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith made his Major League Baseball debut last night with the New York Yankees. Smith tossed three innings in relief, allowing two earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts against the Minnesota Twins from Target Field.

Smith becomes the fifth Marlin in franchise history to make their MLB debut including; Adam Warren (2012, Yankees), Tom Koehler (2012, Miami Marlins), Chris Taylor (2014, Mariners) and Shawn Armstrong (2015, Indians).

“We are thrilled for Caleb and his family about his MLB Debut last night with the Yankees,” Marlins owner Buddy Bengel says. “Our organization is proud that Caleb is our 5th MLB player and we wish him a long big league career. 

In the summer of 2011 with Morehead City, Smith posted a 2-1 record in six total starts on the mound with a 3.62 ERA in 32 1/3 innings pitched with 23 strikeouts. He tallied a 3.28 career ERA at Sam Houston State in 248 total innings pitched with 204 strikeouts before being drafted in the 14th round (434th overall) by the New York Yankees in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Smith started the 2017 season with the Trenton Thunder (AA Affiliate) before being moved up to the AAA level with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders on April 13. Smith was stellar at the AAA level this season, tallying a 2.07 ERA in 87 innings pitched with 86 total strikeouts, earning his call-up to the big leagues.

He marks the 106th overall former CPL player to make his major league debut, and the 12th this season. His debut also pushes the Marlins major league alumni total to 5.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 22nd season in 2018, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 111 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball..


Jackson Kaplan