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Mets first baseman Dominic Smith falling short of high expectations

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PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets poses for a photo on Photo Day at First Data Field on February 21, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets poses for a photo on Photo Day at First Data Field on February 21, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith may have his last chance with the big league team in 2019.

When the New York Mets selected Dominic Smith with the 11th overall pick in the 2013 Major League draft, fans created high expectations right away, anticipating that he would develop into an All-Star and a franchise player. Many thought he could become the club’s first baseman of the future.

After his well-awaited debut in 2017, Smith is currently falling short of those high expectations. With Pete Alonso emerging as a young stud at first base and Smith being a .210 career hitter, the former first-round pick might have already gotten his last chance.

As a first-round pick, there were sky-high expectations for Smith. He was projected to be an above-average hitter with raw power, and finally, fill the hole the Mets had at the position. After being drafted in 2013, he excelled in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, being named the league’s fourth-best prospect. After a few solid seasons in the minors, Smith ranked as the 63rd prospect in baseball, and second in the Mets’ system in 2017, raising expectations even more.

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His promotion was anxiously awaited by all of baseball. When the Mets’ chances of making the playoffs dwindled away, the Mets called up the lefty in August. Smith ended the year batting .198 and hit nine home runs.

In 2018, Smith had more opportunities to prove his talent at the major league level. However, he only played in 56 games and recorded 32 hits. He missed time due to an injury to his quadriceps and spent time in Triple-A with Las Vegas 51s.

The Mets even tried experimenting with 23-year old in left field, but he struggled defensively and was not performing well enough offensively to keep in the lineup. He struggled with swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. It was also said that he showed up to Spring Training overweight and out of shape. This hurt his campaign to become a part of the Mets’ long-term future.

With Smith yet to prove himself as a reliable starter, the Mets have an opening at first base. The Amazins are hoping to have a healthy Todd Frazier play first base on Opening Day. If not Frazier, it very well could be rookie Pete Alonso.

Alonso has been slugging well in Spring Training, as well as often seen taking extra reps in the field. Alonso is determined to win the position over in Spring Training or at least take over after being promoted during the season. He developed quicker than Smith did, being drafted from the University of Florida in the second round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft. The Mets are looking towards giving Alonso more opportunities at first base over Smith.

Next. Jed Lowrie's Spring Training injury raises some early concerns

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Smith had his chances to prove himself as the Mets first baseman of the future but was not able to perform well enough. Alonso has excelled himself past Smith in the rankings of the organization and looks to have a strong rookie season and become the Mets’ new franchise first baseman.

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