With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.Name: Pavin SmithPosition: 1BSchool: University of VirginiaRank on Draft Top 200: 8DOB: 2/6/1996Bats: L Throws: LHeight: 6'2" Weight: 210 pounds:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::Tools
With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.
Name: Pavin Smith
School: University of Virginia
Rank on Draft Top 200: 8
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6'2" Weight: 210 pounds
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Top 20 Draft Prospects profiles
Smith has the potential to be one of the best pure hitters in this year's Draft, and he could certainly emerge as the toughest out. The first baseman struck out just 12 times in his first 228 at-bats in his junior season, while also recording a career-best .342 average, 13 home runs and 72 RBIs for the Cavaliers. It's rare when a player is able to increase his power while also improving his plate discipline, but Smith did just that this spring. Smith has decent mobility and soft hands at first base, and also owns a strong arm as a former pitcher. His speed on the basepaths will be limited. Teams looking for a rock-solid corner infielder should have Smith at the top of their boards.
MLB comp: Mark Grace
Fun fact: As a sophomore, Smith clubbed two homers against East Carolina in the 2016 NCAA Regional to become the first player in Virginia's history to record multiple homers in an NCAA Tournament game.
He said it: "I've always had power in BP and stuff, but in the games, I normally just don't try to do it. It just comes." -- Daily Progress
They said it: "He gets his money's worth, and he still does with two strikes. His hand-eye coordination, his contact rate, it's just really, really impressive. You see some of these guys swing and miss so much that are great prospects, but it's pretty rare to see him swing and miss. The quality of contact rate is really good."
-- Virginia baseball coach Brian O'Connor, via USABaseball.com/D1Baseball.com
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.