The Diamondbacks signed first-round pick Pavin Smith on Wednesday, and the slugging first baseman out of Virginia is expected to report to the club’s short-season Hillsboro affiliate. Smith received a bonus of $5,016,300, which is the full slot value for where he was selected at No. 7 overall. Smith is coming off an impressive junior year in which he hit .342/.427/.570, belting 13 homers while striking out on 12 times in 228 at-bats. By drafting a player who some scouts believe could be limited to first base, the Diamondbacks are clearly betting on Smith’s ability as a hitter. “We obviously believe in the ability to control the strike zone, his knowledge of the strike zone as it projects to future major league performance as an offensive player,” General Manager Mike Hazen said. “That’s what we feel very strongly in. … His ability as a hitter is what stands out more than anything else.” Smith’s power production improved throughout his college career, and the Diamondbacks expect it to continue to trend upward as he develops in the professional ranks. He hit seven homers as a freshman and eight as a sophomore before hitting 13 this year.
Arizona Diamondbacks sign first-round pick Pavin Smith
Arizona Republic | Jun 21