Posted: 5:21 pm Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Santaluces’ Kyle Smith traded from Royals to Astros 

By Matt Porter

After pitching well in the lower minor leagues, Kyle Smith was scooped up by another major league organization.

Smith, a Santaluces High grad and 2011 fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Royals, was traded on Wednesday to the Houston Astros for veteran outfielder Justin Maxwell.

Smith, who signed with the University of Florida but signed a $695,000 contract with Kansas City, is a 6-foot, 170-pound right-hander considered a mid-level pitching prospect by the Royals. His agent, Jason Wood of Arland Sports, said he will report to the High-A Lancaster Jethawks of the California League.

The 20-year-old is 5-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 19 starts for the Wilmington Blue Rocks of High-A Carolina League. He struck out 96 batters in 104.1 innings, walking 29.

He made 13 of his 14 starts last season for the Kane County Cougars of the Single-A Midwest League. He went 4-3 with a 2.94 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. In his only Rookie League start, he fanned 11 batters in five innings.

He was the Post All-Area large schools player of the year in 2011, when he posted a 0.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts for Santaluces High.

Maxwell, 29, has a .222 average in five big-league seasons with Houston and the Washington Nationals.