Paul DePodesta On Why Dominic Smith Will Stay At First Base

dominic smithThe New York Mets today announced the selection of first baseman Dominic Smith from Serra High School (CA) with the 11th pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Smith, 17, who bats and throws lefthanded, hit .493 (33-67) with seven home runs and 38 RBI in 27 games to help Serra to the CIF D3 title this season. The 6-1, 200-pound native of Los Angeles, CA also appeared in six games on the mound for the Cavaliers, going 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA (nine earned runs/30.1 innings) and 44 strikeouts.

Paul DePodesta, the Mets VP of Player Development & Amateur Scouting was ecstatic about selecting 1B/OF Dominic Smith with the 11th overall pick in the draft.

“We’re thrilled that we were able to select Dominic tonight,” DePodesta said. “He’s a guy we have followed since last summer. Our area scout has known him since he 12-years-old. We think we have a very good all-around player, a plus hitter with plus power.”

Smith told MMO that the Mets have been scouting him extensively for years.

Tommy Tanous, the Mets Director of Amateur Scouting, was also very high on Smith saying, “We felt that, going back to last spring into summer, this is one of the most advanced high school hitters you could find.”

“The fact that he bats left-handed is even nicer. You don’t find a swing like this every year. We feel like we put a very offensive player and defensive player into the system. I’ve been scouting 18 years. I don’t think I’ve seen a first baseman play as an amateur that plays this kind of defense. This a well-rounded player.”

Smith has played some right field, but DePodesta said the Mets intend to keep him at first base.

“There’s no doubt in our my mind he could go out and play the outfield, but we think he’s a special defender at first base. He has a chance to impact the game defensively at first base, and we think that’s actually one of his pluses.”

We have a ton of stuff that we’ll be posting tomorrow and lots of quotes and reactions.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.