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Mets Exit Interview: Dominic Smith finally breaks through

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 26: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets is congratulated after he scored on a single by Tomas Nido against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on June 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 26: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets is congratulated after he scored on a single by Tomas Nido against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on June 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 29: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a walk-off 3-run home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on September 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Dominic Smith produced well at the plate for the New York Mets in 2019. We check back on his season and take a look forward to 2020.

From the beginning of the 2019 season, it seemed Dominic Smith had the potential to serve as a vital component to the New York Mets. But a season plagued by injury ended up throwing his place on this team into question.

Nevertheless, Smith provided the team with some fantastic at-bats including the final one of the season. He showed the organization and fans what we’ve been waiting for.

The 2019 season was a breakout year for Smith. As we plan to move forward, let’s take another look back and check in on what we may expect from him in 2020.

What Went Right

Going into Spring Training, Smith knew that he would be battling all season long with fellow first baseman Pete Alonso for the starting job. He rose to the challenge magnificently, despite the fact that Alonso ultimately won the job.

In February, right from the get-go, it became clear that there would be no animosity toward whoever was crowned victor of the first base battle. Alonso and Smith constantly supported each other, praising achievements, offering advice, and helping strengthen weaknesses.

Their bond served as a representation of the mentality of the entire team. The pair had a relationship similar to that of brothers proven by the mass number of pictures presented to the fans of Alonso and Smith, both with gleaming, childish grins spread across their faces.

Smith’s unrelenting, hard work paid off in the sense that he became a crucial member of the team, a tough bat off the bench, and a solid first baseman when Alonso was given the day off, also spending some time in left field.

Smith had a .278/.352/.506 slash line prior to being placed on the IL and ended the season with a .282 batting average, proving himself to be a valuable, productive player despite not having a starting role.

The best Smith moment perhaps being when he hit a walk-off three-run home run in the Mets final game against the playoff-bound Braves, slowing their momentum. This 404-foot shot coming shortly after Smith replaced Alonso at first, the two embraced, and Alonso took his exit, to a standing ovation of course, in his final game of the 2019 season.

It seemed only fitting that Smith was the man to send the 2019 Mets to the offseason in exciting fashion, serving as a glimpse of what’s to come and even coming full circle from where he started at the beginning of the season, in a battle to make the roster.

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