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Mets’ top prospects heading to Las Vegas

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Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (74) bats during a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (74) bats during a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith will begin the season in AAA with the 51s.

Las Vegas has been making waves in other professional sports leagues. However, the 51s are still going to be a hot ticket, especially in 2017. Top prospects, Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith have been assigned to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

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The Mets’ top two prospects logged a combined 66 at-bats during spring training. Smith hit at a .167 clip (6-36) while Rosario was 8-30, good for a .267 average. Smith had four RBI while Rosario drove in three. Both had one double accounting for each player’s lone extra base hit.

Both players made huge strides last season. Rosario kept pounding out hits (155 total) between St. Lucie and Binghamton on his way to a .324/.374/.459 slash line. Smith flashed his power in a season that saw him club 14 homers and drive in 91 runs with Double-A Binghamton. Both played in the All-Star Futures Game last summer in San Diego.

Watching Rosario and Smith in spring training, a few things stood out. Rosario’s defense is Major League ready right now. He is a smooth athlete and he makes things look easy at short. Similarly, Smith’s defense is an asset at first. He has the tools to translate into an above average defender. It’s easy to watch both and become enamored with how many double plays these guys can be involved in once they both make it to the bigs full-time.

There are some things to work on at the plate. What was most surprising was Smith struck out 13 times in his 36 at-bats. He’s been a pretty disciplined hitter statistically while rising through the ranks. Last season, Smith struck out once every 7.3 plate appearances, which was an improvement over his average of 6.4 plate appearances per strikeout.

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Both will certainly not be hurt by going to a hitter’s haven either. Las Vegas has ranked in the top three in the Pacific Coast League in runs for the last four years. Smith’s home run numbers could jump even further, playing 72 games at Cashman Field. One other thing is for sure: this could very likely be the last full year both Rosario and Smith spend in the minors.

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