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DeAndre Smelter Tells the Story of How He Struck Out Bryce Harper

Posted May 29, 2015

The fourth-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers was an accomplished baseball player. In fact, Smelter even struck out one of the top players in Major League Baseball.



A pitcher never forgets.

Whether they gave up a grand slam or struck out the side, key moments in a baseball career can always be recalled in a moment's notice.

Just ask DeAndre Smelter.

The San Francisco 49ers fourth-round draft pick was an accomplished baseball prospect prior to suiting up as a football player for Georgia Tech. In fact, Smelter was a 14th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins back in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Smelter was a powerful right-handed pitcher and topped out at 97 miles per hour on the radar gun.

Smelter's baseball career ultimately ended due to lingering arm injuries, but he still enjoyed some memorable experiences on the diamond.

Need proof?

The rookie receiver shared a humble brag on a recent episode of the team's "49ers Radio Podcast." When asked to share the most notable strike-out victim of his playing career, Smelter offered a well-known big leaguer.

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

The 22-year-old baseball superstar was once a promising prospect, like Smelter, who competed in amateur All-Star games. That's where the two athletes met.

"I had a chance to face Bryce Harper in the Athletic All-American game," Smelter said. "He’s a great player, especially right now, he’s tearing it up right now."

The 49ers wideout paused after the initial statement and then he grinned.

"I struck him out."

Harper currently leads the National League with 18 home runs and 43 runs batted in.

A strike out of this magnitude is almost like telling your grandkids you dunked on LeBron James, beat Tiger Woods in a round of golf or any other brag-inducing sports comparison.

Smelter, true to pitcher form, has not forgotten about the swing-and-miss scenario.

"I think it was a 3-2 count," he said. "I threw him a slider, and I got him to chase it, so I felt pretty good about that."

Smelter has good recollection of every moment on the mound. It's not something he'll forget any time soon either.

"I can pretty much tell you every pitch sequence I’ve ever thrown," Smelter said. "It’s pretty crazy."