Baseball America has their latest mock draft up, and they’ve thrown a “curveball” when it comes to the Giants’ #19 pick. In their first mock, they had the Giants taking high school leftie D.L. Hall, though they cautioned he might be more of a top-15 pick. In their second mock, they had the Giants taking Clark Schmidt, a right-hander out of South Carolina. In their third mock, they had them taking LOGAN WARMOTH, a shortstop and super-Giantsy line drive hitter out of North Carolina.
However, they have a new mock draft out, and it features the Giants taking their most interesting player yet. Pavin Smith is a first baseman out of University of Virginia, and he’s been a top-10 pick in several of the previous mock drafts (including FanGraphs, MLB.com, and those Baseball America drafts.) I don’t know why he slips to #19 here, but I’ll take it.
What’s the scouting report?
A solid performer in college who hit well in the Cape Cod League,
SOLD. You’re speaking the Giants’ language. But I guess there’s more to the BA scouting report.
Smith has matured into the best pure hitter in the draft class for some scouts, making consistent hard contact with a pretty lefthanded swing and incredible ability to avoid swings and misses. As Virginia reached its exam break in May, Smith had more home runs (10) than strikeouts (seven), using an all-fields approach but still producing plus power while being a plus hitter.
I’m not going to get too excited because it sounds unrealistic for him to fall to #19 from everything I’ve read, but I’m very, very intrigued by his ability to make consistent contact. He has just 12 strikeouts this season to 38 walks, and he’s whomped 13 homers for good measure. His .342/.427/.570 line is even more impressive when you realize that Virginia plays in something of a pitcher’s park.
On the other hand, he’s left-handed. We’ve seen what happens to left-handers at AT&T if they don’t have the power of Barry Bonds. Even if they’re awesome, the park will make them seem less exciting, and dumb fans will share their dumb opinions about them, even though they’re dumb. While Smith has power, he doesn’t have Kyle Schwarber beef-boy power. He has Brandon Belt power.
Which ... dammit, I don’t want to go through this again, even if it’s worth it.
But I’m very much into the idea of a top-10 first baseman slipping, slipping, slipping until the Giants can nab him at #19. The more I read about Smith, the more I like him. My guess, though, is that he won’t be there, and that we shouldn’t have thought about him in the first place.
Shame on you, Baseball America, for getting my hopes up. Shame on you, and thank you. I needed to dream for a few minutes.
I’ll just leave this link to John Olerud’s Baseball-Reference page here for no particular reason.