Mariners of the Future: 2017 MLB Draft Prospect Profile Pavin Smith
As Opening Day continues to crawl ever closer in sight, so too is the MLB Draft. The Mariners will undoubtedly be looking to add a top-notch hitting prospect to its farm system, and that could be Pavin Smith.
A prominent two-way player out of high school, Smith gave up pitching and a hefty signing bonus to honor his commitment to play at the University of Virginia. It appears the bold gamble has paid off.
Smith is arguably the most polished collegiate bat in the class. He appears destined to be a mid-first round pick.
Smith improved on his solid freshman campaign(which saw him slash .307/.373/.467 and win the College World Series) with an even better sophomore campaign in 2016. The lefty slashed .329/.410/.513 in 2016.
Smith’s 2017 stats follow a similar stat line (.313/.372/.545). There is little doubt that Smith has dominated the ACC in 2+ years.
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While Smith is more of a line drive hitter as opposed to a power guy, there is still some reason to believe that the power will come. A primary reason for this belief is the ballpark Smith plays in is extremely pitcher friendly.
Even if the power never comes, Smith projects as a solid above-average offensive threat. Smith should hit 15 home runs at the next level to compliment his impressive hit tool.
Smith is also known as an excellent defender at first base, with an aptitude for scooping out poor throws from his infielders. Though he is not a burner, he does have “surprising athleticism”. Smith has even managed to play some outfield for the Cavaliers.
Smith is believed to be a “fast track guy” with some estimating he could be big league ready by 2019. To most Mariners fan’s, Smith will likely remind them of fan favorite John Olerud. Others have pointed to Eric Hosmer and present day Adrian Gonzalez for comps.
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Mariners General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, loves college bats. Pavin Smith’s ability to “control the zone” and draws walks must be intriguing. So too must his long-term outlook at first base. If Pavin Smith is available at pick 17, he could very well be the next Seattle Mariner.