Dominic Smith’s latest run with the New York Mets has ended following a demotion to Triple-A. While he may end up as a productive MLB player, it is becoming obvious that he will have to do so in another city.
Following a successful start to the 2019 MLB season, the New York Mets decided the time to carry two first basemen on the roster came to a close. Just one day after Pete Alonso learned he was the Rookie of the Month for April, his backup Dominic Smith was demoted to the Syracuse Mets in Triple-A.
Smith leaves the Mets batting .333/.459/.400 after 37 plate appearances. He knocked two doubles, walked 6 times, and struck out another 7.
Now through 369 career trips to the plate at the major league level, Smith is slashing .221/.279/.406. Still far from where he’d like it to be, Smith showed us in a brief sample this season why he could have a productive MLB career. The only problem for Mets fans is it will be in another team’s uniform.
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Prior to his bat finally heating up, many wanted to see Smith shipped out of New York because they were tired of looking at his face. Now, anyone wishing to see him traded does so knowing there’s actually some value there. It actually feels like he’ll get moved at some point this year regardless of where the Mets are in the standings.
First base belongs to Alonso. In one month, he did more than Smith has in his entire big league career. The Mets will be patient with him even if those inevitable rookie jitters or sophomore slumps arrive.
For Smith, this marks the beginning of the end. The team cannot afford to move along with two first baseman. Though they could keep Smith stashed away in Triple-A, what does that really bring them?
Smith has hardly proven himself at the big league level and I don’t foresee a decade of All-Star trips in his future. However, in the right situation, I can see him having a really good career.
Ideally, Smith could fit in as the left-handed bat in a platoon situation. Pair him with a right-handed slugger who mashes lefties and the two can become a solid duo. In a hitter’s ballpark, Smith may even develop into more of a power hitter. He’s currently hitting round-trippers at a rate of 17 per 162 games. Put him in a place other than Citi Field for 81 games a year and you can easily add three.
Smith played in 29 of the team’s 31 games he was on the 25-man roster before this demotion. He made the most of those opportunities. Unfortunately, he may not get another in Flushing.
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Somewhere out there, a team does have a spot for Smith on the roster. He’ll likely journey there at some later this year when the Mets make some moves to hopefully attempt to fill their needs.