Never saw the published report that he had signed, but found this interesting none the less.
Posted on Fri, Jul. 08, 2005
USC signee Smoak denies reaching deal with A's
Despite published reports that the Oakland A's have met former Stratford standout Justin Smoak's signing-bonus demand, the all-state first baseman and USC signee said Thursday he has had no recent contact with A's officials and intends to enroll at USC next month.
Smoak, who plummeted to the 16th round of the draft after saying a $1 million bonus would persuade him to skip college, said he last spoke to A's general manager Billy Beane "two or three weeks" ago when he reaffirmed his desire to play college baseball.
"I told him I really wanted to go to school and that I really wanted to play at South Carolina," said Smoak, who had been projected as high as a late-first-round pick. "I didn't feel like stressing out about it all summer and waiting to the last minute."
Smoak, who said he recently went through student orientation at USC, batted .558 with 18 home runs during his senior year at Stratford. He is playing this summer for the South Carolina Diamond Devils.
"I doubt I'll hear back from (the A's)," he said. "In August, right now, I'm going to South Carolina."
-- Kent Babb