The Hillsboro Hops saw many changes to their lineup within the last 24 hours. Four 2017 draft picks made their way to Ron Tonkin Field.
Pavin Smith was the first round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the seventh overall pick. The first-baseman out of Virginia is known for his ability with the bat, rarely striking out. Pavin set a school record with 77 RBI in 59 games last season. The left-hander also hit 28 homers during a three-year college career. The Florida native had more home runs (13) than strikeouts (12) in his final year.
In the 2008 Cal Ripken Major70 World Series, his two home runs helped the Jupiter, Florida team beat Mexico in the World Championships. Also a pitcher, he did not pitch in the 2015 season due to an elbow injury but still hit the game winning RBI in the second game of the 2015 College World Series. During the offseason, he had Tommy John surgery and returned to action in 2016.
Some considered Pavin to the best hitter in this draft class and is expected to be one of the first position players to reach the MLB level. Slow foot speed likely to keep him at first base defensively. Pro comparison: John Olerud and Eric Hosmer.
Daulton Varsho, selected in the Competitive Balance Round B, comes out of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Daulton’s father, Gary Varsho, played in the major leagues from 1988-1995, playing with the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. Gary now is the head scout for the Pirates. He named his son after former teammate Darren Daulton.
The Wisconsin native is known for a good eye at the plate. Daulton walked 46 times compared to 39 strikeouts. Named Horizon League Player of the Year in 2016. Considered very athletic.
Daulton is known as a left-handed slugger with a batting average of .381 in his last year with Milwaukee. He made his Hillsboro debut on 6-22 going 0-3 in the 8-5 loss to Salem-Keizer. His highlight was starting the six-run seventh inning with a walk and scoring Hillsboro’s first run of the night.
Local fans rejoiced when Oregon Duck Tim Susnara was taken in the 8th round, 232nd overall. The catcher becomes the fourth catcher on the roster. The Native of Mountain View, California led the Ducks in doubles and was near the top of most offensive categories. When playing in Eugene against the Emeralds, he will be playing in his college home of PK Park. A former teammate of 2016 Hops Mark Karaviotis.
Tim is known for his quick actions behind the plate along with blocking skills. His quick release and arm strength should help in throwing out potential base-stealers. He started for the Duck the last three seasons. Tim is a left-handed batter but throws right-handed.
Playing middle linebacker his first two years of high school as well as baseball, Tim is used to being a defensive leader on the field.
Camden Duzenack was selected in the 9th round, 262nd overall. Out of Dallas-Baptist, the shortstop is a two-time Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week. He is a former teammate of last year’s Hops Colin Poche. His compact frame (5’8”, 145 lbs) underlines his compact swing and throwing motion. He has also pitched. He started all four years in college.
Drafted by Philadelphia last year in the 23rd round, 677th overall, Camden elected to stay in college. It proved to be a good move as he was drafted 14 rounds and 415 spots earlier one year later.
By GD Stoker