Pavin Smith | 1B
Smith, 21, was selected by the Rockies in the 32nd round of the 2014 draft out of high school, though he didn’t sign and instead followed through on his commitment to Virginia. He’s a career .325/.402/.514 hitter with 28 home runs in 187 games with the Cavaliers. This spring Smith hit .342/.427/.570 with more home runs (13) than strikeouts (12).
With a 6-foot-2 and 210 lb. frame, Smith is a bat-first prospect with above-average hit and power tools. He’s a left-handed hitter who can drive the ball to all fields and has the innate ability to get the fat part of the bat on the ball. He knows the strike zone and consistently gets himself into hitter’s counts. Defensively, Smith is good around the first base bag and he has a good arm. He’s a good athlete who has played some outfield in the past, though he’s expected to remain at first base long-term, where he has more than enough bat for the position and solid glovework.
MLB.com (8th), Keith Law (12th), and Baseball America (15th) all rank Smith as a top half of the first round talent, though it should be noted he has been slipping to the back-half of the first round in recent mock drafts for whatever reason. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. High-end college performers always have a way of coming off the board early, so my gut feeling is Smith gets drafted before the Yankees pick despite what the mock drafts say. If not, he’d be a real coup at No. 16.