The current Arizona Diamondback team is gearing up for a wildcard series, but D-Back fans got a glimpse of the future with Pavin Smith and Kristian Robinson taking batting practice at Chase Field on Saturday.
Smith was the team’s first round selection in the 2017 Rule 4 Draft (seventh overall), and Robinson is a 16-year-old Bahamas native who signed a $2.55 million deal last July.
“It’s basically like I’m hitting in a city,” Robinson said. “It’s like a video game, and I’m just lining balls all over the city. That’s what I like.”
Smith was tabbed as one of the best power hitters in this year’s draft class, and he showed that power off on Saturday, placing a ball over the right field wall that made fans in the pool duck and cover.
“It’s definitely once in a lifetime – hopefully it’s not once in a lifetime (experience). Hopefully I’ll get back up here as soon as I can,” Smith said.
Special guests at the ballpark today… ? pic.twitter.com/MckLj4Ev8U
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 23, 2017
Pavin Smith just wrapped up his first season in Short A Hillsboro, hitting .318 in 51 games and notching more walks (27) than strikeouts (24). The former Virginia first baseman, who clubbed 28 home runs with the Cavaliers in three years, only hit one in minor league ball.
Smith isn’t concerned about his short power drought, though, and felt his game had developed since joining the Diamondbacks.
For Robinson, who was the #15 international prospect, it’s a matter of continuing to train and gear up for professional baseball. According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, Robinson has the mix of athleticism and raw power makes him a contender and “has the potential to be a breakout star in this year’s class.”
“I though about this day once they told me I was going to take (batting practice), and I wanted to think about what I would do, just seeing the ball fly in a big league stadium, and that’s what I dream for.” Robinson said.
That dream just became a reality.
The Big League Club
The current Diamondback club is currently 89-65 and has a magic number of 2.