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MLB mock draft 2017: Oakland A's should pass on Pavin Smith in 1st round

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The patient 1B has caught the eye of Oakland's front office, but he'd be a waste of a top pick.

Pavin Smith in 2015
Pavin Smith in 2015
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

A new name has started to rise in the most recent mock drafts. University of Virginia 1B Pavin Smith had been mentioned as being on Oakland’s radar for the past month and now he’s been selected to go to the A’s in the latest mock drafts by ESPN’s Keith Law and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. Smith is best known as a prospect who has hit more home runs this season (12) than he’s struck out (9). Let’s see what else Mr. Smith can bring to Rickey Henderson Field.

Pavin Smith, 1B

University of Virginia, Junior

DOB: 2/6/1996 / Height: 6’2" / Weight: 210

Bats: L  Throws: L

Stats: .346/.429/.571 / 11 Doubles / 12 Home Runs / 36 BB / 9 K

MLB Scouting Grades:

Hit = 55 / Power = 55 / Run = 35 / Arm = 50 / Field = 50 / Overall = 55

Mock Summary

Baseball America ranks Smith #7 overall. Perfect Game and MLB.com rank him 8th. Herosports ranks him 13th and FanGraphs ranks him 18th. The split appears to be due to a difference of opinion on Smith’s power potential. His advanced hitting approach makes him a relatively low-risk/medium-ceiling player who should move quickly through the farm system.

Two major sources mocked Smith to the A's this week:

  • Keith Law at ESPN.com (5/30) No link due to the paywall.
  • Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com (6/1)

Pros

Baseball America considers Smith to be the best college hitter in the draft. They give him plus power to go with a plus hit tool and the best strike zone discipline in the college class. Everyone agrees he has an excellent approach at the plate as his 36/9 BB/K rate attests. Smith has walked 72 times to 32 strikeouts over his past two college seasons. He has solid arm strength (he threw in the low-90s as a high school pitcher) and he’s seen some time in the outfield. Most scouts are of the opinion he’s limited to 1B as he’s a below-average runner, but expect him to be at least average with the glove.

Cons

Other sources are less sanguine on the Hit and Power tools. If we average the grades out there isn’t a 60 Grade tool in the shed and he’s a 1B prospect only. (To make an obvious comparison, Matt Olson is rated as being faster and having a better arm than Pavin Smith.) AN’s own Jerry Brewer took a look at Smith’s swing and has some concerns. Similar to college teammate Adam Haseley, Smith looks more like a complementary player than a star and it’s fair to ask if that profile is worth the #6 overall pick.

Monster

  • He doesn’t have any plus tools.
  • He doesn’t play an up-the-middle position.
  • He doesn’t play a position of need in the organization.

Pavin Smith shouldn’t even be in the conversation at #6 overall.

Actually selecting Pavin Smith #6 overall would be a waste of the draft pick.

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This Saturday, SB Nation's site Minor League Ball will be hosting a Community Mock Draft starting at 10 a.m. PT and running until all 30 teams make their selections through the 4th round. AN draft hounds guessatomo and Orodawg will lead the A’s (to victory!) with blue-and-furry me helping out where I can. Come swing by and have a look.