Everyone in the business says pitching is the hot commodity. With some track record, a prospect of equal value is a lefty bat with power and average. Owning such value is what makes Pavin Smith 2017 MLB Draft ready.
Pavin Smith 2017 MLB Draft Profile
First base is the most practical position for a player who throws with their left hand. This has been on the decline in recent years, probably because of the instant demand as soon as the player steps on the pitching mound. Pavin Smith, 21, was scouted as a two-way baller out of Palm Beach Gardens High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Because he was strongly committed to a spot for him at powerhouse University of Virginia, he slipped to the 32nd round and attended college.
It’s been three long years since the Colorado Rockies selected him in 2014. In his absence from pro ball conversation, the 6’2″ corner-man has shone brightly for the UVA Cavaliers. Smith has slashed .326/.403/.516 in 182 games (and counting). He’s currently hitting .348 as a junior with 12 home runs and a 35-8 BB-K ratio.
What a night for Palm Beach Gardens alum, Virginia’s Pavin Smith. A 2run HR to tie game, now gives UVA lead w RBI single in CWS Championship
— (((Ian Hest))) (@IanHest) June 25, 2015
All this hitting has earned Smith a spot in the top-10 on most pre-draft lists. As the current number eight on MLB.com, the all-around lefty is poised to make an impact quickly for the team who takes him. Baseball America has him going eighth to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pavin Smith is a hitter, through and through. He has an incredible eye and knowledge for the strike zone that’s backed up by his college stats. He’s walked more than he’s struck out in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Smith uses these tools to stay patient and wait for his pitch, resulting in a .300/.400/.500 slash line for two seasons now.
#UVA‘s 1B Pavin Smith, OF Adam Haseley named 1st team All-ACC; OF Cam Simmons 2nd team; C Robbie Coman, SS Ernie Clement, RP Tommy Doyle 3rd
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) May 22, 2017
Scouts have him down for a .270 average-type who can belt 20+ home runs a year as a major leaguer. At 21 years of age, he isn’t so projectable anymore physically, but he can continue to show more power as he gets reps to build game and swing feel.
The University of Virginia started Smith in left field in 32 games as a freshman. Other than that, he’s spent a vast majority of his time at first base. He’s athletic, but below average in speed. That will be his only real weakness.
Smith brings an strong arm and glove to the right infield corner. His arm, paired with his handedness, allows him to be a bit quicker in throwing to and receiving from other areas of the infield than your average first baseman. While limited in positions to play, he will man this one well. Smith fields cleanly enough, while bringing a good bat to let him stay there.