First Base Competition: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The New York Mets have pushed that veteran Adrian Gonzalez was signed to fight the young Dominic Smith for the first base job and even possibly mentor him along the way.

What we’ve seen on the field, or perhaps more important what we haven’t seen, is Smith and Gonzalez together. They haven’t been together at all, in three days of camp they haven’t been seen working together on any drills.

Instead Smith has been working with players that are likely destined for the minors including Peter Alonso, Gavin Cecchini and David Thompson, none of which have a realistic shot of making the Opening Day roster.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported on Tuesday that Gonzalez received two offers for a strong opportunity to be the starting first baseman before deciding on the Mets.

It’s very possible that Gonzalez is working with Smith off the field and talking to him about hitting, footwork at first, etc. Why not have the four-time gold glover that has 69 DRS in 14 seasons at first base at least show Smith a few things at first?

As Mickey Callaway tells Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News he thinks it will be good for Smith to be around Gonzalez, “Obviously we all know Dom’s offseason went really well, he came into camp really good. He’s going to be able to take routines from Adrian. Adrian has unbelievable routines. He’s a pro.”

If Gonzalez’s skills on the field continue to crash and burn (-1.2 WAR last season) then at least Smith would’ve learned a few things that was upper echelon at the position for a ten-year stretch.

“That will probably be the thing that Dom will take from him the most. Adrian is doing this very late in his career. He values it….As good as an offseason as Dom had, you are going to have to implement a lot of these things to keep himself where he’s at and even get better. I think he’s going to take those routines from Adrian and blossom.”

Gonzalez has been working out with Amed Rosario, Todd Frazier, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores. The infield starters and his likely platoon mate to face lefties. Right now, the Mets have made it pretty clear that they see Gonzalez as the starter to at least begin the season which was fairly evident when they gave him a 40-man roster spot.

About Michael Mayer 1126 Articles
Lifelong Mets fan born in 1987 meaning I still haven't witnessed a championship. Lived in Maine my entire life so I get my Mets fix from MLB.tv and MiLB.tv. Still playing and coaching baseball.Follow me on twitter @mikemayermmo