Rocky Mountain outfielder Mason Smith drafted by Padres in MLB fourth round

rroberts@idahostatesman.comJune 8, 2013 

  • IDAHO'S TOP PREP DRAFT PICKS

    No. 3 Mike Garman, Caldwell HS, 1967, Red Sox

    55. Shon Ashley, Meridian, 1985, Brewers

    71. Mike Lehman, Vallivue, 1986, Orioles

    76. Mat Thompson, Timberline, 1999, Red Sox

    79. Greg Talamantez, Idaho Falls, 1984, Orioles

    97. Thomas Siebert, Coeur d'Alene, 1978, Pirates

    103. Robb Welch, Twin Falls, 1994, Red Sox

    106. Robert Friesen, Meridian, 1985, Tigers

    116. Nick Marchant, Capital, 1997, Phillies

    118. Mason Smith, Rocky Mountain, 2013, Padres

    NOTES: The numbers listed are for overall pick. ... Only Garman made it to the major leagues. ... The modern draft started in 1965. ... Sources: Statesman research, BaseballAmerica.com and Baseball-Reference.com

Even-keel, nerves-of-steel Mason Smith broke down when he heard his name called in the Major League Baseball Draft on Friday.

It was an out-of-character moment for the usually collected 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder, but not unexpected given the amount of anticipation that has been building over the past few months.

Smith was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round with the 118th overall pick.

"I kind of was in shock. It felt like my heart stopped for a little bit," Smith said. "Then when everybody started cheering and coming over and hugging me and stuff, I lost it and started bawling."

Smith is the first Idahoan drafted in the first 10 rounds directly out of high school since Allen Langdon of Eagle was selected in the 10th round (314th pick) by the Astros in 2005.

Smith is one of four Idaho high school position players to have been drafted in the top four rounds in the history of the modern draft, which dates to 1965. He joins catcher Mike Lehman of Vallivue (third round in 1986, 71st overall, by the Orioles), shortstop Shon Ashley of Meridian (third round in 1985, 55th overall, by the Brewers) and outfielder Nick Marchant of Capital (fourth round in 1997, 116th overall, by the Phillies).

Smith signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Utah, but isn't expected to honor that commitment because of his high draft selection. His slot in the draft is worth an estimated signing bonus of $433,300, according to Baseball America.

Smith will likely begin his pro career with the Padres' rookie team in Peoria, Ariz. He also could land with the organization's Class A short season affiliate in Eugene, Ore., which plays in the Northwest League against the Boise Hawks.

Smith said he is meeting with a Padres representative in the next few days to finalize early details.

In the meantime, there's a bit of a celebration in the works.

"I'm going to spend as much time as I can with my family and I think my mom ... is throwing a little party and inviting people over," Smith said. "We're going to go buy those little five-dollar Padres shirts at the mall and hand them out."

In three varsity seasons with the Grizzlies, Smith batted .427 with 28 doubles, 16 home runs, seven triples and 109 RBIs. He also had an on-base percentage of .513 and a slugging percentage of .803. He was walked 43 times, hit by pitches 17 times and added 35 stolen bases.

Beginning May 26, Smith visited with seven major-league teams in a span of eight days, including the Padres. Smith hit seven home runs during a workout at Petco Park on June 1.

"It seemed like we were always talking about the Padres," Smith said. "And then it just kind of seems like we kind of had the hint that they were going to pick us."

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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