The Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League announced on Wednesday that New York Mets first baseman/outfielder will play with the team this season.
It’s been a tumultuous season for the 23-year-old in which he started it off by getting scratched from spring lineup after showing up late. He then had a quadriceps injury that held him out for most of spring thus handing the Mets first base job to veteran Adrian Gonzalez.
Despite starting the season in fantastic shape he struggled at the plate in Triple-A most of the season finishing with a disappointing .708 OPS in the Pacific Coast League.
The experience in the outfield got Smith back to the majors though the playing time would be sporadic and often out of position. He has struggled in his limited opportunities at the big league level with a .604 OPS over 83 plate appearances.
Mets first baseman have a 94 wRC+ in 2018, tied for 18th in the majors and yet somehow Smith – former top 100 prospect – has made only 16 starts at the position this season in the big leagues.
Smith says that he expects to play mostly outfield and talked to Tim Healey of Newsday about the opportunity, “It’s tough to go play winter ball. There’s great players and there’s a lot of pressure. I think that really helps a player blossom and be the player he needs to be to play in the big leagues.”
The Toros del Este will begin their season on October 13.