Dominic Smith is back with the New York Mets. Unfortunately, he fits in too well with their weaknesses.
An issue for the New York Mets this season has been an inability to hit against left-handed pitchers. The recent promotion for Dominic Smith won’t help them much either. As a lefty-swinger himself, we shouldn’t expect much from the young first baseman.
Smith is a nice representation of what’s wrong with the Mets. I don’t blame him at all for their miserable 2018. After all, he has barely seen any action at all.
However, several qualities about him match up too well with the MLB team’s faults.
Along with adding yet another lefty to the 25-man roster, the Mets have also included another guy who cannot run well and is limited on defense. Players like this have a purpose in Major League Baseball. Having too many of them on one team can cause problems.
Smith has tried to solve the defensive “problem.” While with Las Vegas, Smith tried his hand at playing the outfield. With Peter Alonso knocking the cover off the baseball in Double-A, it’s a move he has to make for his own survival in this organization.
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More important, learning the outfield helps the Mets turn Smith into more than a first baseman. If he can become serviceable, then they can at least use him in other ways.
This still doesn’t change the fact that the Mets now have another slow runner on the team. Only because he’s replacing Adrian Gonzalez can we accept Smith’s cinderblock feet.
Smith isn’t expected to steal bases or hit southpaws well. I don’t think anyone believes he’ll ever play above average defense in the outfield either. That’s okay. He’s not made for it.
The issue is, other Mets have these low expectations as well. Smith is basically a younger Jay Bruce without the hefty paycheck.
Among all of the issues the front office has had assembly a team, the worst is the lack of diversity. Where are the base thieves? Where are the bench players with dazzling gloves? Or what about the .200 hitters who can come off the bench and still threaten to hit a home run at any moment?
Instead, this is a team of players very similar to Smith. They struggle to do more than the minimum. As nice as it is to see him get another shot, I can’t help but think how perfectly imperfect he fits in with this team’s flaws.
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Do you think Smith can evolve into a deeper player or is he more of the same?