White Sox should target Pavin Smith, if he's still available
And with the No. 11 overall pick Monday, the Chicago White Sox draft …
After poring over scouting report after scouting report, Smith looks like the perfect fit for the rebuilding White Sox.
There is only one potential hurdle -- he could be off the board when the Sox's turn comes up.
Smith just wrapped up his junior year at the University of Virginia, and he posted a .342/.427/.570 hitting line with 13 home runs and 77 RBI in 59 games.
Just like 2016, when the White Sox took University of Miami (Fla.) catcher Zack Collins with the No. 10 overall pick, Smith potentially fills two holes.
First, he's a potent left-handed bat, something the Sox are lacking at both the major- and minor-league levels.
Second, Smith is a solid defender at first base. Jose Abreu would likely be gone by the time Smith arrived with the White Sox. If he's still on the roster, Abreu could shift to designated hitter.
That is all speculation at this point, so let's take a closer look at Smith's availability.
In Baseball America's initial mock draft, Smith was going to the Philadelphia Phillies at No. 8 overall.
In a revised mock draft, Smith moved up a pick, to the Arizona Diamondbacks at No. 7 overall.
In Baseball America's final revision before Monday's amateur draft, Smith dropped all the way to the San Francisco Giants at No. 19.
In MLB.com's latest mock draft, Smith is going to the Phillies at No. 8, and FanGraphs also has the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from Jupiter, Fla., going to Philadelphia.
Baseball America, MLB.com and FanGraphs all have the Sox selecting Vanderbilt's Jeren Kendall at No. 11, and the pick makes sense.
Kendall, a Holmen, Wis., native, is an outfielder, a big need for the White Sox. He's a left-handed hitter. With 15 home runs and 52 RBI in 61 games for the Commodores, Kendall has some serious power potential.
But there is a glaring flaw, one which the Sox are trying to avoid.
In 257 at-bats this season, Kendall has 72 strikeouts. Smith, by comparison, struck out only 12 times in 228 at-bats.
If Smith is already gone when the White Sox's pick comes up Monday, maybe outfielder Adam Haseley is still available.
Smith's teammate at Virginia, Haseley slashed .390/.491/.659 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 58 games with the Cavaliers this season. Also a left-handed hitter, Haseley struck out 21 times in 223 at-bats.