The Mets made a multitude of moves this offseason with the focus on improving depth. The acquisitions of Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, Keon Broxton, and J.D. Davis have put the Mets in strong position in that regard.
The last name on that list is in a really tough position long-term given his lack of an obvious positional fit for him with the team having lost faith in him as their first baseman of the future.
Smith, 23, was pretty abysmal last season as he hit .224/.255/.420 with five home runs and 11 RBI to give himself a lowly 87 OPS+ in 56 games.
As everyone knows, Smith came up in 2017 overweight and struggled to the tune of a 73 OPS+ his rookie season, proving to disappoint considering he was the team’s first-round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft (11th overall).
That led the team to sign Adrian Gonzalez as insurance for the 2018 season. He eventually took the job from Smith because even though he was able to lose a significant amount of weight in preparation for the season, he got hurt during Spring Training and missed almost the entire month of games as a result.
J.D. Davis is also likely to make the team given the fact he was acquired via trade this offseason to serve as MLB depth and the team is even considering turning him into a two-way player since he was a successful reliever in college and has even pitched a couple times in the majors.
With regards to the last spot, Smith will have to battle with Luis Guillorme and T.J. Rivera. Guillorme is by no means impressive with the bat, but the Mets currently don’t have a backup shortstop on the MLB roster and he might get the leg up on the final bench spot because of that.
Rivera, meanwhile, has impressed in the past with the team, but given that he missed all of last season due to Tommy John Surgery in 2017, he is more than likely going to start the year at Triple-A Syracuse.
Another hurdle Smith could encounter is if the team chooses to carry eight relievers, thereby limiting themselves to a four-man bench and possibly giving Smith no shot at making the Opening Day roster.
Even if the team decides to go with five bench players, Smith is likely looking at a very short stay at the MLB level with Peter Alonso deemed the first baseman of the future for the Mets going forward, a title once belonging to Smith.
Sure, if he impresses things could change and maybe he could find himself either earning a larger role on the team, but the odds are not looking great right now and he looks like he is destined to spend a large chunk of the season as a first baseman/left fielder in Syracuse.
In all likelihood, Smith is going to have to make a name for himself somewhere else if it is even going to happen. While that is disappointing for someone that once gave the organization a lot of hope for the future, it has become the sad reality of this situation.