Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 235 Level: Double-A Binghamton Mets
B/T: L/L Age: 6/15/95 (21) Age Dif: -3.3
Acquired: Selected in the first round (11th overall) of the 2013 draft from Junipero Serra HS.
Last year: #3
2016 Statistics: 130 G, 484 AB, 64 R, 146 H, 29 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 91 RBI, 2 SB, .302/.367/.457
The Mets selected Dominic Smith with their first round pick in 2013, continuing a three-year trend of high-school position players in that spot. Following the selections of Brandon Nimmo in 2011 and Gavin Cecchini in 2012, the Mets made Smith the second first baseman to be selected with their first pick in team history (Ike Davis, 2008).
Since he was drafted, Smith had been likened to the 2007-2011 version of James Loney. It was a shrewd comparison — given the ability of both to spray line drives across fields while playing above average defense at first base — until Loney joined the Mets for the 2016 season.
Still, Smith looks like a good bet to reach “prime” Loney, or even exceed that comparison, likely sooner rather than later.
Smith built off of a solid 2015 campaign by increasing his RBI total by 11, his walks by 15, and his OPS by 53 points. Condemned for his lack of power, Smith whacked 14 long-balls in 2016; impressive, given he had hit only ten home runs in his first three seasons, combined.
Smith’s premier performance in 2016 came on July 2, where he slotted into the cleanup spot in a Binghamton lineup that featured a rehabbing Jose Reyes, Eastern League batting champion Phillip Evans, and MMO #1 prospect Amed Rosario.
In the first game of Binghamton’s doubleheader that day, Smith went 4 for 4, scored three times, and drove in five runs. He also homered twice, with Matt Oberste following up each with a longball of his own.
Smith was desperately in need of a season like 2016. He had yet to flash his power potential (a skill that was touted as 20-25 home run potential when he was drafted), and when he reached base, he wasn’t able to do it consistently. Now, it appears Smith has begun to string everything together, and at an opportune time.
Defensively, Smith is as sure-handed as they come. In fact, it may keep him around, should his bat never materialize at the major league level. Although his frame doesn’t scream agility, Smith is very nimble around the bag, and is adept at digging balls out of the dirt.
Mike M adds -
Talked to Smith’s personal trainer recently and he said that Dominic has dropped 20-25 pounds while building muscle. Smith will continue to work out with trainer Art Correa in Clovis, California until February.
Smith is already a major league caliber defender and I believe he will continue to develop his power in 2017, which would make him a first division starter at first base.
More good days appear to be ahead for Smith, as he will move up to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in 2017. This is also a perfect situation for the Mets, who won’t be hard-pressed to find an afterthought veteran to fill the position in Vegas. I’m looking at you, Marc Krauss and Brandon Allen.
With Lucas Duda‘s impending free agency, it would not be a surprise to see Smith manning first base regularly in 2018, should he impress in a 2017 audition. With a slew of young pitchers, and the likes of Michael Conforto and T.J. Rivera producing at the major league level — not to mention Smith and Rosario on the cusp — the future is clearly now, in Queens.