Dominic Smith, 1B
Player Data: Age: 22, B/T: L/L, Free Agency: 2024
2017 Primary Stats: 167 AB, .198 AVG, 9 HR, 26 RBI, .658 OPS
Dominic Smith finally got his call-up in August of this past season. After trading long term first baseman Lucas Duda, everyone was glad to see Smith, one of the top prospects in the organization, get the promotion. Although he only played in 49 games, Smith saw the rigors of the majors in his time with the big league club.
The first baseman racked up 33 hits, nine home runs and 26 RBI with an OPS of .658, however his batting average fell below the Mendoza line at .198. Smith showed flashes of what he is capable of, but might still need some time down in the minors for additional seasoning.
Defensively, Smith had a DRS value of -7 and a UZR value of -0.8. This is not to say Smith is a liability in the field for the future, but he is young so there is need for improvement.
The latter half of the 2017 season started to showcase the young direction this Mets team is going in. People can not expect every rookie to come out hitting balls out of the park every other at bat. What people hope to expect from Smith in the future on a larger scale is Smith building off what he showed in his short time in the majors. His ceiling could be a reliable hitter who will hit for a high average, but he still has work to be done. His defense will also need some work to show what he truly is in the field.
Did You Know:
Smith was promoted from Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League on August 11. Smith was batting .330 (151-for-457) with 34 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, 76 RBI and 77 runs scored in 114 games for the 51s. His 34 doubles, 16 homers and 77 runs scored were all minor league career highs.
At the time of his promotion, Smith was among the PCL leaders in hits (151, first), doubles (34, first), total bases (237, second), runs scored (77, tied for fourth) and average (.330, seventh).
The Mets don’t seem completely sold on starting 2018 with Smith holding down the fort at first base. The first baseman is still very young and could always start the year in the minors to give him a chance to play everyday and get some more seasoning before he returns to the majors.
Another thing officials are concerned about is his weight.
“Mets officials will be monitoring Smith’s weight,” said Mike Puma of the New York Post in August. “The rotund Smith lost 24 pounds last offseason, but has gained much of it back in the last four months, according to sources, albeit not at the expense of his offensive production.”
While Smith will obviously be in contention for the job in Spring Training, the team could also look to find a first baseman on a short-term pact while Smith gets some more time in the minors to mature.
The potential is there for Smith, but I believe he has some hurdles to leap over before he taps into it fully. His showing the majors was promising at times, but overall fell short of expectations.
However, if he can translate to the majors what he showed down at Triple-A last season, he could be a force to be reckoned with in the Mets order along with Amed Rosario for years to come.