2 former Panthers headed to pros

Russell Smith drafted No. 51 overall by Brewers; Zach Humphreys inks with Angels

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Baylor infielder Josh Bissonette, right, beats the tag of TCU catcher Zach Humphreys, left, during the fourth inning of an NCAA college baseball game, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Waco, Texas.
TCU lefthander Russell Smith pitches during a Horned Frogs home game. Smith, a 2017 Midlothian High School graduate, was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of last week's Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

Midlothian High School will not have just one, but two recent former players to sign with Major League Baseball organizations this summer.

Ex-Panther Russell Smith was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 51st pick in last week’s MLB first-year player draft. Smith, a redshirt junior at TCU, is a 6-foot-9 lefthanded pitcher whose nickname is “Big Russ.”

Smith was later joined by former Panther and Horned Frog battery mate Zach Humphreys, who signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Humphreys, a senior catcher, earned several accolades during the 2021 season: Big 12 Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, second-team ABCA All-Central Region, Big 12 Honorable Mention, first-team Academic All-Big 12, and Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team.

Humphreys, a 2016 MHS graduate, was an all-state catcher and twice earned all-state honors in his high school career. His older brother, Alec, played for Texas Tech and Tarleton State, and younger brother Nathan will be headed to Dallas Baptist University this fall. Their father, Mike Humphreys, played college and professional ball as well.

Zach Humphreys was drafted by the Brewers in the 26th round in 2019 but opted to return to TCU. He was not drafted this year.

Smith was a four-year starter for the Panthers, graduating in 2017. He chose to attend TCU after being taken in the 38th round by the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 MLB draft. At TCU, Smith compiled a career record of 12-5 with an ERA of 3.51, and struck out 163 batters while walking just 41.

As a senior at MHS, Smith set a school record with a 0.44 ERA with only eight hits allowed, and tallied 100 strikeouts while throwing two no-hitters. He was named district Pitcher of the Year three times and was named a Rawlings-Perfect Game second-team All-American as a senior.