The Diamondbacks have agreed to an at-slot deal with first-round pick Pavin Smith, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports on Twitter. The team has announced the signing. Smith, taken seventh overall, will receive a $5,016,300 bonus.
That payday falls just a bit shy of the $5.1MM bonus locked up earlier today by Smith’s former University of Virginia teammate, Adam Haseley, who was taken just one pick later in the draft. Both are seen as advanced hitters.
Smith is expected to remain at first base as a professional, which obviously puts more pressure on his bat. But he carries an extremely polished approach with him to Arizona. In 2017, Smith swatted 13 home runs while going down on strikes just a dozen times.
The major question, perhaps, is just how much power can be expected. Smith is not viewed as possessing significant raw power, though it seems he may be able to maximize his strength with his outstanding contact abilities. He is expected to be a quality defender at first.
Taking in the total package, MLB.com ranked Smith eighth on its draft board, though other pundits weren’t quite as impressed. On other prominent lists, he placed 12th (ESPN.com’s Keith Law), 15th (Baseball America), and 20th (Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen).