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2023 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews: #36, Pavin Smith

The (literal) red-headed step-child of Hazen First Round Draft Picks had a fun little Postseason trend going there for a bit

MLB: NLCS-Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Oh Pavin, My Pavin...

The man with the dubious honor of being Mike Hazen’s first ever Arizona draft pick. Seventh overall no less! But in one of the weakest drafts in recent (and maybe not so recent) memory. Because of that pedigree, he has a relatively high profile in the fanbase. None of that profile is earned...

2023 Overview

  • Rating: 3.89 out of 10
  • 2023 MLB Stats: .188/.317/.325, 7HR, 35BB, 45K, 228PA(191AB) in 69 games
  • 2023 MiLB Stats: .318/.428/506, 9HR, 46BB, 47K, 290PS(239AB) in 62 games at Reno
  • Date of Birth: 2/6/1996 (27)
  • 2023 Salary: $120,960
  • 2024 Status: Controlled through 2027: pre-arb for the final time in 2024 (a possible trade/non-tender candidate)

Vote Breakdown

Despite being an iffy roster choice, Smith did receive 228 plate appearances for Arizona in 2023. Several of those were even good ones! I jest because you kind of have to at this point... Just scroll back up to see his abysmal MLB stat line and ‘nuff said.

Of course you would also see that sterling MiLB stat line right below it. All those come from Reno which optimistically speaking is the AAA affiliate for the Diamondbacks! Pessimistically speaking, it’s Reno and every stat other than amazing pitching or horrendous hitting can and should be ignored as an evaluation tool. Pavin is the poster child for “quad-A” player at this point.

But he did have a nice Spring Training and somehow lost out on an Opening Day bench spot to Jake McCarthy who soon needed a demotion to Reno himself. Whether or not that mentally affected Pavin’s chances when his MLB stint came on April 9 we’ll never truly know, but I doubt it. He had from early April to late June to turn it around and never did. He got another chance in early September, but was no better.

His true MLB highlights of 2023 come from the postseason of all places where he played a total of 11 games and had 11 plate appearances. He hit .300 with a .364 On Base Percentage, but all the damage came in the NLCS. At one point, he was so good the magical AZSnakePit elves made this tweet:

He just had a knack for getting pinch hit singles against Philadelphia.

The most interesting question I have remaining about Pavin Smith (other than when the team moves on), is how he would have (or maaaaaaaybe still could) develop as a member of a different team’s AAA roster. If given that opportunity, he may even be a serviceable MLB option someday. But in Arizona, he has nothing left to learn from Reno and isn’t prepared enough to learn in Phoenix (not that the team is in the position to allow him that time anymore either).

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