Mets minors: Dominic Smith named FSL Player of the Week
Dominic Smith, currently playing with High-A St. Lucie, has been named the Florida State League Player of the Week.
Smith, who the Mets selected 11th overall in the first round of the 2013 draft, hit .385 with a .692 SLG this past week while snagging the honors.
To go along with his .385/.385/.692 triple slash, Smith had five doubles, one homer (his first in the FSL), 10 RBI, and six runs scored. Smith is currently riding a 13-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games.
So far this season, the 19-year-old Smith is hitting .260/.303/.377 with one home run and 26 RBI.
Last week, Michael Conforto — who has since been promoted to Binghamton – earned FSL Player of the Week honors.
Although it’s incredibly premature, some people have already written off Smith, who isn’t even two years into his professional career.
The lack of power is the reason often cited by those who are down on Smith, but there are a few things to take into account in that regard.
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For one, Smith played the entirety of last season with Low-A Savannah, who play their home games at Historic Grayson Stadium — one of the toughest parks in the minors to hit home runs.
Second, Smith has been one of the youngest player in each league he’s played in so far during his professional career. At present, he’s the fourth-youngest player in the FSL.
Would it be nice if Smith went on a home run hitting binge? Yes. Would it be nice if his walk rate jumped a bit and his strikeout rate dropped a bit? Yes. However, this is a player who is both extremely young and still a bit raw. He needs to be given time to adjust.
Shortly before he was drafted, this was the scouting report from Baseball Prospectus on Smith’s offensive potential:
"Smith is a pure hitter that excels at barreling up balls and producing loud contact. At times he can get overly aggressive and expand the zone, but overall he has a good feel for the strikezone and shows the ability to both turn around good velocity and drive stuff on the outer-half to the left-center gap. As he matures physically, he should see a jump in his playable power, which has already improved over the past twelve months. The upside is a plus hit/plus power bat that could fit comfortably in the middle of a first division lineup."
At the same time, here’s what was said about Smith’s defense:
"While you don’t win championships with first base defense, any team would be thrilled to have a first bagger with Smith’s abilities manning the corner spot for the foreseeable future."
As is noted above, Smith’s production has been underwhelming so far during his professional career. However, the tools that were there when he was drafted are still there — on both sides of the ball.
Like all prospects, there’s a chance Smith turns into nothing. But streaks like the one he’s on recently show how foolish it is to give up on someone so young, so quickly.