Dominic Smith is in a weird spot with the New York Mets right now. Without a clear spot on the team due to Pete Alonso at first base, the Mets need to find a solution.
Dominic Smith was originally drafted 11th overall in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school by the New York Mets. Smith made his major league debut 4 years later on August 11th, 2017 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Smith finished the game with his first major league hit in 3 at-bats.
Smith, a first baseman, does not have a clear spot on the team right due to slugging first baseman Pete Alonso. Alonso exploded onto the scene this year and took over the first base job as Smith was pushed to the bench. With Alonso looked at as the first baseman of the future, the Mets have to decide to either trade Smith or convert him to an outfielder.
The easiest thing to do here is to trade Smith, but that might not be the best option. Juan Lagares is a free agent after this year and it is hard to imagine the Mets bringing him back due to his struggles over the years and being injury prone.
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Yoenis Cespedes is a giant question mark, nobody knows if he will play again and if he does what level he can play at. Brandon Nimmo has been out with a bulging disk in his neck so that could have lingering effects over time as it is not a small injury.
Michael Conforto will be starting in one of the outfield spots along with Jeff McNeil as long as they do not move him back to the infield which seems unlikely for now. Robinson Cano will be at second for the next few years and Jed Lowrie will most likely be at third with a year left on his contract. This would leave one spot left in the outfield which Smith could potentially fill.
The biggest concern with Smith at this point is his defense. It seems that he has turned a corner at the plate, seeing that this year is in line with his numbers in the minors. Smith was always seen as a good hitter, someone who will hit for average with decent pop, which he is showing this year. He was seen as a solid defender as he came up in the minors, but that was also at first base and the outfield.
Smith definitely has the work ethic and effort to become a decent outfielder, he is a hard worker as he lost a good amount of weight in the offseason and fixed a sleeping problem in an attempt to up his game. He is also passionate about his play so he would definitely put in the work necessary to become a fulltime outfielder.
Just recently he mentioned that a few mishaps in the field would keep him up for the night because that is how he is as a person, which is exactly what you want to hear from a player. He clearly cares and wants to leave his best on the field.
One player that made the transition from first to the outfield was former Met, Cliff Floyd. Floyd came up as a first baseman and was moved to the outfield relatively quickly. Floyd had a track record of hitting so finding a spot in the lineup for him was a must, just like Smith.
Floyd was nothing special in the field, but he was good enough to the point where his hitting outweighed any mistakes he would make. Smith could be the same thing since he has been known for his hitting in the minors and has seemed to figure it out in the majors now.
If the Mets decide to keep Smith they do have the rest of the season and the entire offseason to work with him in the outfield. If they decide to go this route there is no reason why we cannot see Smith in the outfield next year, and playing a respectable outfield at that.
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Should the Mets try to trade Smith or convert him to an outfielder?