Mets: Why Dominic Smith is the most important member of the bench

The New York Mets will have a larger bench than normal in 2020 with expanded rosters this season. With a larger bench and more competition, Dominic Smith is still the most important member of it in 2020.

For the first two weeks of the season, the New York Mets will be allowed to carry up to 30 players. After those first two weeks, teams will be able to carry 28 players for another two weeks. Once those two weeks are done then teams will be allowed to carry 26 players for the remainder of the season and carry a 27th player for doubleheaders.

The Mets started the season with 16 out of their 30 players being position players. This leaves them with 7 bench players, and 7 pretty good bench players at that. Out of those 7 players, Dominic Smith is the most important for the 2020 season.

Smith brings a lot to the team despite being somewhat limited in the field being a lefty. Smith played games at first base, left field, and right field last season. To make matters more interesting, Smith said last season he was open to learning center field and was even the Mets emergency catcher last season despite being a lefty. He was even seen catching Marcus Stroman back when quarantine first began when he stayed at Stroman’s house.

Outside of Smith’s defensive versatility, Smith has also shown that he is a good hitter. Last season Smith slashed .282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs and 25 RBI in 177 at-bats. Smith hit especially well when coming off the bench to pinch-hit, where he slashed .286/.459.571 in 28 at-bats. Smiths’ most impressive pinch-hitting appearance was his famous walk-off three-run home run to end the season, after returning from a 3 month trip on the injured list. Smith was able to come through in the clutch and off a left-hander nonetheless.

Smith also has a track record of being a good hitter prior to the major leagues. Before being called up in 2017, Smith had always been a good hitter in the minor leagues. From 2013 through part of 2017, Smith’s lowest average was .271 with .287 being the next closest. He hit an incredible .362 in 47 at-bats in the 2015 winter league.

Smith’s track record in the minors and recent success in the majors shows that he is a good hitter, and is a good hitter off the bench which is all that much more important since he does not play every day.

Even though Smith’s defense is not the best, his versatility with different positions and his ability to hit shows why he is such a key piece to the Mets. Smith can come in late in games to hit in clutch situations and play multiple defensive positions if someone is injured or if the team feels he is better defensively than someone else.

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