Do the New York Mets still have faith in Dominic Smith?
In 2013, the New York Mets selected Dominic Smith with the 11th overall pick in the draft. Years later, we’re watching as he tries to retain his spot on the 25-man roster. What do the Mets really think of him?
The first thought that ran through Mets fans heads was “why are we drafting a first baseman when we have Ike Davis?”
As many remember, Davis was the highly touted home run hitting prospect that was going to man first base for years to come. A couple of years later, we saw Davis fall apart and eventually find himself traded for practically nothing. All of a sudden drafting Smith seemed like a brilliant back up plan.
Smith made his MLB debut last season in September when the Mets were clearly down and out for the season. In efforts to see what they have in the system, the Mets prioritized calling up Smith and Amed Rosario and to actually play them every day.
In the brief sample, Smith put on a decent showcase. He hit 9 home runs and drove in 26 RBI in just 49 games. Unfortunately, he also only hit for a .198 batting average and had an on-base percentage of just .262.
More cause for concerns arose as reports revealed that some officials were not exactly thrilled that Smith could not keep his weight under control last season. Signs pointed that the young first baseman was already in the doghouse of the front office.
Although Smith did lose 30 pounds this offseason, the team went out and signed veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. This was yet another sign the Mets believed Smith was not ready.
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Many believe Gonzalez would simply be a placeholder until Smith came back from injury or when Smith was eventually ready to be brought up. But fast forward to present day, it’s still late May, but Gonzalez is still here on the roster and Smith is in Triple-A.
It’s been a slow rise for Smith through the system. He was drafted out of high school and brought along very cautiously as there was no rush to bring him up earlier. The power numbers were nonexistent until 2016 when he hit 14 home runs in Double-A Binghamton. Prior to that, his career high was six.
Ike Davis was supposed to be the next stud in line for the Mets. As most fans witnessed, it wasn’t his destiny.
Smith seems to be up next but with people already praising first baseman Peter Alonso in Double-A, you have to wonder will Smith be added to the list of players who just didn’t work out. Jay Bruce went on the paternity list last week which led to the Mets calling up Smith but only to send him back down when Bruce returned. With Bruce playing first base a lot as well these days the plot only thickens for Smith.
So far in 2018, Smith has played 32 games in Triple-A Las Vegas. He has 2 home runs, 13 RBI, and 8 doubles to go along with a .277 batting average.
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Many people are still rooting for Smith, but there are also people who are ready to say move on. Ultimately, it’s up to the Mets to decide.