Area Code Games Honors Russell Smith, Andrew Papantonis

LONG BEACH—The Yankees’ Andrew Papantonis (Delbarton High, Morristown, N.J.) and Rangers lefthander Russell Smith (Midlothian High, Texas) were honored as the outstanding players for the 2016 Area Code Games.

Papantonis finished the Area Code games with four hits and three RBIs, including a home run. But it was his defensive skills at shortstop that set him apart over the five games.

Papantonis called the ACG “one of the best experiences of my life,” and said he was challenged by being exposed to the wealth of competition nationwide. He added that the talent in the showcase was “humbling” but also raised his level of competitiveness.

According to scouts, Papantonis raised his stock as much as any player over the Area Code Games. He is committed to the Virginia.

Russell Smith struck out eight batters over four innings, while only giving up three hits. The 6-foot-9 lefty was able to translate his physical tools into dominant performances at the ACG.

Smith hit the upper-80s with a fastball, along with a developing curveball and changeup.

“To have received this award is extremely humbling,” said Smith, a TCU commit. He added that the award would provide him extra motivation to become a better pitcher over the summer. He also highlighted the invaluable coaching expertise he received at the ACG.

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