One of the Mets top prospects, Dom Smith is a 22-year-old first baseman from California. The lefty hitter and thrower is an even 6′ tall and weighs 234 lbs (more on that below). Drafted in 2013 with the 11th overall pick, Baseball America currently ranks him the 65th prospect in baseball. He hits to all fields, but is pulling the ball just slightly more so far this year.
Here is a table of some of Smith’s minor league numbers. His fielding skills are Gold Glove caliber.
Hitting for power is one area where Dom Smith has slightly under-performed. Most teams want more home run ability from their first baseman. Although power is usually the last to come and he also played at some large ballparks prior to this season. Here’s what Dom said about it to ESPN last year:
I think the first few seasons I was trying to hold my own and learn my swing, learn the pitching and stuff like that. I think now I’ve got a pretty good idea about how pitchers are trying to pitch me and a good idea about my swing. And I think just playing in better hitting environments, the numbers are going to be better than the last few years.
Here’s a 1 minute video of Smith taking batting practice and in-game video showing off his swing:
About that weight we mentioned above. Dom showed up 24 pounds lighter to spring training this year. It was a conscious effort on his part to show he was serious about taking the next step to get to the major leagues. As he told the NY Post:
It’s been easier to become comfortable. I’ve lost weight and am in shape. I think I’ve improved in that, and that’s helped even just running the bases, it helps with everything. I’m more agile.
Expect Smith to be called up by September, if not earlier. Depending on whether the Mets re-sign Lucas Duda this winter, Dom Smith should at the very least see part-time play next season at first base. Wilmer Flores could form the other half of a possible platoon.
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Photo by slgckgc