Former Rocky Mountain High School outfielder Mason Smith was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round with the 118th overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft Friday.
Smith learned of the news while watching the MLB.com draft coverage with his family and friends at his home Friday just after 12 p.m.
“I was in shock at first, I had a loss of words,” Smith told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “It was very emotional and exciting.”
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Smith hit .427 in 83 career games at Rocky Mountain and had 16 home runs, 28 doubles, seven triples, 109 RBI and 98 runs scored. He had a .803 slugging percentage.
Smith recently traveled to San Diego for a pre-draft workout with the Padres.
“That was probably one of my best workouts because out of 25 swings I think I put 11 home runs out and hit one on top of the second deck of a building,” Smith said. “It was my favorite stadium. I fell in love with the park. It’s a beautiful park. I love San Diego. We’re always down there for like two weeks and I love it. I think it’s a good fit.”
Baseball America’s scouting report on Smith says, “Scouts who like him are most intrigued by his bat. He has a short, quick right-handed swing, with the potential to be an above-average hitter with at least average power. He could be an average defender, but his arm is below-average. He has lost a step this spring and now is graded as a below-average runner, though he is a good athlete.
“Skeptics see too much risk in gambling on a corner bat out of a state with little track record of producing big leaguers, and even supporters know they’ll have to be patient with his development. Smith is Mormon but has told teams he is not planning to go on a church mission, and he’s considered signable away from his commitment to Utah.”
Smith was projected to be a third-round pick but fell to the fourth. He was ranked as the 71st best player in the draft by ESPN draft analyst Keith Law. Baseball America had his ranked No. 101.
“We had heard so many different things and I was little disappointed I didn’t go the first night but I’m still happy with the fourth round,” Smith said. “We have a pretty good deal made so I’m happy.”
The centerfielder met with 29 of the 30 teams leading up to the draft and recently traveled for workouts with the Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels in addition to San Diego.
MLB.com’s scouting report on Smith says, “Idaho isn’t exactly a baseball hotbed, but Smith has the chance to put it a little bit more on the map. He’s a solid all-around outfield prospect, one who has the chance to hit for average and some power. He has decent speed, though some feel he may have to move to a corner eventually.
“Though he’s a bit raw because of where he’s from, he gets very high marks for his makeup and aggressive style of play. He might be a bit of a project, but the payoff could be pretty big down the line.”
Smith was the first prospect from Idaho to get selected in this year’s draft. Negotiations are already underway between Smith’s advisor and the Padres and a deal is expected soon.
The talented outfielder said he is “100 percent signing” with the Padres and will not be honoring his commitment to the University of Utah. Smith said he has tentative plans to fly to San Diego on Sunday to take his physical and sign the contract.
He’ll then report to the Padres’ Spring Training complex in Peoria, Ariz., to begin his pro career.