Do the Mets have a plan for Dominic Smith? Or, is he relegated to an “Oh yeah, him” status with the team and “we’ll figure that out later”?
The Mets saw a big future for Dominic Smith when they drafted him in the first round (11th overall) of the 2013 amateur draft. Six years later, including three seasons with the Mets, Smith has yet to crack the Mets lineup despite displaying an ability to hit major league pitching with authority.
Along the way, there were issues regarding Smith’s hustle and aggressiveness in wanting to put in the hard work that is required to earn a job at this level.
His weight and body build were called into question, asking if Smith was one of those perennially “injury-prone” players.
Smith: Tell me what I need to do…
Through it all, and in one of the few attempts by the Mets to actively be involved in “developing” a player, Dominic Smith listened and acted on what the Mets told him he needed to do. Lose weight? No problem.
Take some reps in the outfield? Absolutely, I can do that. And so it went, with Smith getting plaudits from the Mets each step along the way.
In 2019, at the end of it all, according to a report by SNY-TV, Smith’s .282/.355/.525 line over 197 plate appearances blew his career numbers out of the water.
He was one of the best pinch hitters in baseball and finally showed the ability to hit well to all fields that had been his calling card early in the minors. Despite the time lost to injury, it was a resounding success for one of the game’s most likable players.
The Mets at a crossroad with Dominic Smith
With respect to draft picks, teams eventually reach that do or die moment when history has taken its course. The Mets have a pretty good idea of what Dominic Smith can and can’t do for them. Cut ties….or not?
Smith would have been fine if Pete Alonso hadn’t come along to destroy the Met’s record book and gain the NL Rookie of the Year award, claiming first base for the next decade.
And if Brodie Van Wagenen hadn’t scoped out J.D. Davis in a trade with the Houston Astros to play left field for the Mets, Smith would have been an adequate work-in-progress contributor in the team’s outfield.
Of interest, however, the New York Posts’s Mike Puma cited team sources that said the Mets view Davis as an asset that could be traded this winter for pitching.
If that’s the case, the “tell” is in what the Mets aren’t saying – which is the team is ready to hand Smith the job in left field. Or, is something else brewing?
Dominic Smith will turn 25 in June of next year. He is young, talented, and in a team’s (any team) control through the 2024 season.
Mets: Time’s up, make a move
Yes, they can trade him. But the Mets don’t know (yet) what the ceiling of Dominic Smith is. But this much, we do know.
Smith has trade value, and he is a perfect fit for an American League team that needs a DH/first baseman/outfielder who can hit the baseball.
Why not cash in on the investment the team has made over the last six years?
Unless, of course, if the Mets are ready to say – Dominic Smith – you’re the man and the left-field job is yours and we’ll figure out what to do with J.D. Davis…
A storybook return to the Mets lineup in 2019 (video)
Writer’s Note: Dominic Smith suffers from a common ailment called sleep apnea. I do as well. For Smith, it’s been yet another hurdle thrown up at him as a professional ballplayer. In this video, he explains…