During the 2021-2022 season the Heights Bulldogs finished fourth in their district. This season, with returning power hitter Paul Smith Jr., they plan to finish higher.
“Paul is a very hardworking, dedicated young man, with a lot of talent and has the potential to certainly go on to the next level if he chooses to do so,” Coach David Petty said. “He’s got a lot of power, good eye, good stick, and plays solid defense, as well.”
Smith, who was assigned designated hitter last year, currently has a .785 slugging percentage and leads his team in both home runs, doubles and runs batted in.
“My approach is explosive. I make big things happen when I need to,” Smith said.
Smith, formerly a football player, switched from football to baseball after receiving advice from his father.
“Up until the sixth grade I was a football kid. Then my dad told me, football is tough on the body,” Smith said.
At 12 years old, Smith made it to the final cut of the USA National trials.
“I learned that baseball’s more than just physically what you can do. It’s a mental game. When you get down in a situation or you’re doing bad, you can’t let that affect you mentally or that stretch of doing bad will go longer and longer,” Smith said.
After not making the National team, Smith went on to play with other organizations where he learned valuable lessons.
“I played for the Sliders, out in Richmond, Texas. They had a great coach in Coach Horn, and a few kids were drafted out of their program. I played for Premier, out in Tomball, Texas. I met a lot of good friends and teammates. I learned that you have to be able to be flexible, move positions and be a team player,” Smith said.
“If you’re on a good travel ball team, the best player plays. That’s really helped me transition to high school because in high school the coaches want to win, so they don’t let parents get in the way. It prepared me to always put my best foot forward and don’t get hurt if I get benched because someone was doing better than me. It’s all a part of the game,” Smith said.
After graduating Smith hopes for an opportunity to play baseball at Texas Southern University.
“I like their coach, their culture. They’re re-upping the program, building their own field and I’m excited about that.
About Paul Smith Jr.
Position: First and third base
Height & weight: 6-feet-2, 250 pounds
Player he studies: Aroldis Chapman (Kansas City Royals)
Favorite artist: J. Cole
Favorite subjects: Algebra II, Pre Calculus
Shout-outs: RJ Robinson, mom, dad, sister, everybody that supported me