Arizona takes ex-Gardens star Pavin Smith 7th overall in MLB Draft


Pavin Smith is headed to the desert.

The former Palm Beach Gardens star, who spent the last three years of his career playing college baseball for the Virginia Cavaliers, was selected seventh overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks on the first night of the MLB Draft on Monday.

“It feels amazing,” Smith said. “I’ve worked my whole life for this, and it’s just a dream come true. I’m blessed for the opportunity to go out and play baseball.”

Smith, whose Cavaliers were eliminated in regional play of the NCAA tournament, celebrated his selection with family and friends at his Jupiter home. Smith received a call notifying him the Diamondbacks would pick him shortly before his selection, then the crowd of more than 40 people erupted in cheers when his selection was announced on MLB Network.

“It’s a surreal moment,” Smith said. “It’s something you dream about as a kid, and it’s not real until it happens. It was awesome.”


]]>


]]>

The seventh overall selection has a recommended bonus value of $5,016,300, making it likely that Smith signs instead of returning to Virginia.

Smith starred at Palm Beach Gardens from 2011-14, and he was a two-time first-team All-Area pick.

“We knew he was pretty good, coming in as a freshman,” Palm Beach Gardens coach Joe Russo said. “We kept him on varsity, and I think he struck out three times the entire year. … From there, it just took off.”

At Virgina, Smith became one of the top hitters in college baseball during his three years — though he struggled slightly to end his career, making his father worry.

“I had more stress watching him play in April,” Smith’s father, Tim Smith, said. “He was one for his last 10.”


Pavin Smith on being picked by the @Dbacks. pic.twitter.com/QNtWZVn4S2

— (((Lichtenstein))) (@ABLichtenstein) June 13, 2017
]]>


The slugging first baseman had a triple slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of .325/.402/.514 to go with 28 career home runs during his career with the Cavaliers. As a junior, he set career highs with a .342 average, 13 home runs and a .427 on-base percentage this season.

Smith is one of at least 24 Palm Beach Gardens alumni, along with former teammate J.J. Schwarz (who likely will be drafted this week, as well) drafted out of the school, according to Baseball Reference’s database. Other drafted alumni include Taylor Motter and Chris Volstad, who also was a first-round pick.

“I knew he was good, but you just don’t expect your son to get to this level,” Tim Smith said. “It’s pretty cool.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

10 players to watch at 2018 Honda Classic … yes, Tiger Woods is one
10 players to watch at 2018 Honda Classic … yes, Tiger Woods is one

In advance of Thursday’s first round at PGA National’s Champion Course, we give you 10 players — and one Tiger — who could make a difference at the 2018 Honda Classic. The 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year has been top-25 in each of his six events this season, including a victory at the CJ Cup in South Korea last October. Thomas...
Baker Mayfield meets columnist who called him a ‘future NFL bust’
Baker Mayfield meets columnist who called him a ‘future NFL bust’

Any negativity targeted at Baker Mayfield posted online typically finds its way to the former Sooners quarterback. One column, in particular, that predicted the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner would end up as a “future NFL bust” captured his attention. The reporter who wrote the column, Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel...
Saquon Barkley goes 2nd overall to Giants in Mel Kiper’s latest NFL mock draft
Saquon Barkley goes 2nd overall to Giants in Mel Kiper’s latest NFL mock draft

Saquon Barkley is not going to have to wait long to hear his name in April’s NFL Draft. The former Penn State star might be the second player to walk across the stage, according to ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. Barkley was the No. 2 overall pick in Kiper’s mock draft 2.0, which came out Wednesday. Kiper has the New York Giants...
Ohio State football: How will Buckeyes manage overflow at cornerback?
Ohio State football: How will Buckeyes manage overflow at cornerback?

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the...
Athlon Sports ranks SEC’s best football-basketball coaching tandems
Athlon Sports ranks SEC’s best football-basketball coaching tandems

Athlon Sports came up with a creative ranking of the best football and basketball coaching duos in the SEC. Basketball season is in full swing, with the NCAA Tournament drawing closer, so basketball is on the brain for many. Still, football is never far from discussion when considering the SEC. On Wednesday, Athlon Sports ranked each football-basketball...
More Stories