Mets first base prospect Dominic Smith ranks No. 29 on Keith Law’s list
By Vincent Perricone
ESPN’s Keith Law released more of his Top 100 prospects list on Thursday, numbers 40-21. Mets first base prospect Dominic Smith came in at No. 29.
Being a top prospect in the Mets organization, it isn’t a shock that Smith would be ranked in the top 30 going into the 2017 season. Here’s what Keith Law had to say about the budding first baseman:
"I’ve written since Smith was an amateur that he has raw power, but in his first two seasons in full-season ball he hit just seven homers, as playing his home games in very pitcher-friendly parks led him to focus on going the other way. In 2016, he started pulling the ball more, and hit 14 homers, more than doubling his career total to date, along with 29 doubles to finish with a .302/.367/.457 line. Smith is an extraordinarily disciplined, calm hitter, striking out in just 13 percent of his plate appearances last year, showing an advanced two-strike approach and willingness to use the whole field. In addition to just generally pulling the ball more in 2016, Smith also got the ball in the air more often, which is critical to boosting his batting average since he’s a well below-average runner.Smith is an above-average defender at first whose 70 arm is sort of wasted at the position, and has worked this off season on improving his conditioning, which was a concern last year as he was playing at what I’ll politely call the top end of the acceptable range for his weight. There’s still untapped power here, but given the progress Smith has already made in games this year, I expect 20-plus homers from him this year or next along with the same high averages and doubles totals he posted in 2015 and 2016."
In 2016, playing for the Double-A Binghamton Mets, Smith had a very good season. Batting .302 in 484 at-bats, he doubled his home run total from the previous season (14 in 2016 compared to 7 in 2015).
We also saw Smith hit more to the opposite field, having a combined 66 doubles the last two seasons, including 29 in his first full season of Double-A ball last year.
Additionally, Smith was recently ranked the third best prospect at his position by MLB Prospect Watch.
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Smith joins some other Mets who already made Law’s list — pitchers Justin Dunn (No. 84), Robert Gsellman (No. 76), and Thomas Szapucki (No. 60).
Will any other Mets make the list?