New York Mets first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith has struggled mightily and there’s no one to blame but himself.
Remember him? What happened to him? Where did that player go?
The current Dom Smith was sent back down to Triple-A Las Vegas when the Major League cub activated Yoenis Cespedes ahead of the first game of the Subway Series in the Bronx. Smith struggled in the majors for the second year in a row, and with Peter Alonso hot on his heels and Cespedes taking reps at first base, Smith’s time might just be up.
The only person to blame is Smith himself.
Smith came into the Mets organization in 2013, when they Amazins selected him with the 11th pick in the 2013 draft, 21 picks before the Yankees selected Aaron Judge. From there Smith climbed through the minors, mashing all the way to Triple-A in 2017.
During the 2016 season, Smith would cross paths with another top Mets prospect, Amed Rosario, and the two became friends.
The “New Illuminati” as they dubbed themselves both arrived on the MLB scene in 2017, but neither one illuminated anything, especially Smith, who hit a measly .198 in 49 games.
There’s a problem with that number. Sure it’s low and awful and seems more like a pitcher’s batting average, but the disparity between Smith’s numbers in the minors and the majors is cause for concern.
In his career, Smith has hit a solid .298 in the minors, racking up 42 home runs, 151 doubles, and 341 total hits in his 595 games in the minors. If those numbers were to translate to Smith’s 77 games in the majors, he should be looking at 6 home runs, 45 RBIs, 89 hits, and 20 doubles. If those numbers sound familiar its because they are eerily similar to those of Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell, San Fran’s Brandon Belt, and Miami’s J.T. Realmuto. That’s where Smith should conceivably live in the MLB.
Instead, Smith’s Major League numbers pale in comparison. Through his first 77 career games, Smith’s number as pathetic, hitting .193/.249/.374 with an OPS of .623. Keeping in line with those numbers, Smith has amassed 10 home runs, 11 doubles, 27 RBIs, and 46 hits.
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To add insult to injury Smith’s 2018 campaign has been a huge disappointment to anyone with eyes. When you consider that in 2018 Smith has 1 RBI, 1 home run, and 13 total hits in his time with the big league club, you start to wonder if maybe he was overestimated, maybe he was overvalued, and finally, maybe he’s not the guy.
When Smith showed up to Spring Training everyone was excited to see the guy who was going to plug the hole at first base, the one left after Lucas Duda was shipped off to Tampa Bay. However, after being scratched as punishment for being late to a team meeting, we got to see very little of Dom Smith. The next time we would all see Smith in Spring Training, would be his last, as he injured himself going from first to home on a José Reyes ground-rule double.
“I wanted to see [Smith],” Calloway said after that game. “That would have been huge for us to see who Dom Smith is, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to. We were excited about what he has to offer at some point.”
At this point, we’re still waiting to see who Smith is, and while it’s a shame we haven’t yet, it’s 100% on his shoulders that we didn’t. Whether it’s at first on in left, Smith can’t play on the Major League club.
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Will Smith ever figure it out? It seems unlikely.