With the seventh overall pick, the Diamondbacks have selected first baseman Pavin Smith out of the University of Virginia. In mock drafts, MLB.com had Smith to be selected with the 7th pick, Baseball America had him going with the 11th pick, and ESPN.com had him going 8th.
Smith came into this year’s draft as perhaps the most polished college bat. At 6’2”, 190 pounds, the left-handed hitting first baseman hit .342/.427/.570 with 13 home runs and 77 RBIs during his junior year at Virginia leading them to the Super Regionals. Smith and fellow first round hopeful Adam Haseley were a force in the Virginia lineup that provided an abundance of pop. Amazingly, Smith hit more home runs than he had strikeouts, as he went down on strikes just 12 times in 59 games showing great plate discipline and pitch recognition.
Smith also has the ability to play some left field, but his limited speed and range in the outfield is surely to limit him to first base, where he has become an above average fielder. Still, it is his approach to hitting that has elevated him to becoming an elite draft prospect.
For more on Smith, check out Chris Cotillo’s Q&A with him here.