Jan 6, 2020

Dominic Smith: Mets Outfielder / First Baseman (2017-2020)


Dominic David Rene Smith was born June 19th 1995 in Los Angeles, California. The six foot left hand hitting / throwing first baseman was the 2013 New York Mets number one draft pick, the 11th pick overall.

Smith grew up a Los Angeles Dodger fam. He
was signed right out of Junipero Serera High School in Gardena, California. He played in MLB's Inner City Youth Baseball program & is the one of the highest drafted players to come from the program. At the MLB draft he was greeted by former Met Darryl Strawberry.


Once he signed with the Mets his mother decided he needed to get out of the South Central area of Los Angeles, have no distractions & focus on a baseball career.

With his signing money he purchased a home in Port St. Lucie, Florida where he could be near the Mets facilities & his A ball team. He lived there with his mother, two siblings & nephew.

Smith spent 2013 between the Gulf Coast Mets & the Kingsport Mets in the Rookie League. In 2014 he was promoted to the A ball Savannah Sand Gnats batting .271.

In 2015 he was the St. Lucie Mets main first baseman, winning the Florida State Leagues Player of the Year Award. Smith improved to a .305 average, while leading the club as well as the Florida State League in RBIs (79) & doubles (33).

He was second on the team to Jeff McNeil in hits (139) runs scored (58) & games played (118). His lack of power was a concern for the team, but the Mets hoped his power skills would still develop.


Smith was invited to the Mets 2016 Spring Training, he showed up with caramel colored hair in the mold of the NY Giants Football player Odell Beckam Jr. In his first game he got a base hit going 1-2.

Negatives: The youngster did throw up a couple of red flags, like showing up to camp over weight. He then got the start at first base in the Mets third Spring game & did not run out a blast to right field. He started out into a HR trot but ended up with a long single. Manager Terry Collins glared at him & coach Tim Teufel had a talk with him in between innings.

Trivia:
Among his many tattoos, he
has one with Jesus teaching a youngster how to swing a bat.


Smith spent 2016 at AA Binghamton where he hit .302 improving his power & run production leading the team with 14 HRs 146 hits & 91 RBIs . He hit 29 doubles in his first full season at AA ball & a total of 66 the past two seasons. In July he had his career best day hitting two HRs while driving in five runs going 4-4. 

Along with Amed Rosario he represented the Mets in the 2016 Futures game at San Diego going 0-4 for the U.S. squad.

Quotes: Dominic Smith “Being in the Futures Game was so surreal. You’re in a big-league stadium, a big league city, and you have 40,000 people in the stands. I just took a moment to look around and say, ‘Wow. This is why I worked so hard for this moment right here.’ I really enjoyed myself. I played on the field with some of the best minor leaguers in the world, and a bunch of those guys are taking the next step.”


He spent most of 2017 at  AAA Las Vegas as the 51s main first baseman. Smith was the second ranked prospect in the Mets organization, he batted .330 with 16 HRs & 76 RBIs, having certainly his best season. He was called up to the Mets late that summer.

Smith made his MLB debut on August 11th 2017 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. After striking out in his first at bat, he collected his first career hit in his next at bat, a single off the Phillies Nick Pivetta. 

On August 15th he hit his first career HR & then hit another five games later. He would hit his third HR on August 23rd, in a 4-2 win over the Arizona D-backs. Although he hit a few HRs he was struggling badly, not getting to the .200 mark until September. 

He showed more signs of power in mid September, hitting HRs in three if four games & driving in eight  runs that week. 

But as the season went came
to an end his batting average was below .200 finishing at .198 with 9 HRs 6 doubles & 26 RBIs in 49 games for the fourth place Mets who lost 92 games.

In Spring Training 2018 he was still up a bit over weight, the Mets were not sold on him at first base & signed veteran Adrian Gonzalez. Smith injured his quadriceps & missed most of the Spring. He began the year at AAA Las Vegas & would get called up twice during the year, but get sent down two times as well.

He didn't impress in Vegas, batting .258 with 6 HRs 41 RBIs although he did hit 21 doubles in 85 games. With the Mets he played parts of two brief games in May, going 0-1. He returned in June but hit just .183 with one HR & was sent back down on July 20th, when Yoenis Cespedes was reactivated.

He was back in mid August & stayed on the team thru the end of the year. On September 26th, he had two hits, a HR & two RBIs leading the Mets Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom to a 3-0 win over Atlanta.

 In 2018 he batted .224 with 5 HRs 11 doubles & 11 RBIs. In 56 games he had 143 at bats & struck out 47 times. With Wilmer Flores seeing the majority of time at first base, Smith was used at first base in 28 games. He was put in the outfield in 13 games, making one error in 14 chances.

In Spring Training 2019, he treated his sleep apnea with a positive breathing machine, helping him be more alert. He was visibly more in shape as well. 

He made the trip North with the team, but with Pete Alonso at first base he wasn't going to see much time there. He did see action in 36 games there & another 33 in the outfield.

In the second game of the season, he was brought in at the 8th inning & singled in two runs, extending the Met lead over the Nationals. He got his first start on April 2nd & drove in a run in the Mets five run 1st inning in Miami, they went on to a 6-5 win. He had a pinch hit RBI the next day as well in a 6-4 win.

Smith would not hit his first HR until May 14th, his 32nd game, but he was hitting more for average batting .344 at that point. By the end of May he was 9-23 as a pinch hitter (.391). 

On May 29th he had a three hit game in Los Angles & had five multi hit games from May 26th to June 7th, raising his average to .386.

Starting on June 24th he hit HRs in three straight games at Philadelphia, sadly the Mets got swept in the four game series. He hit his fourth HR of the week, three days later during the Mets horrid seven game losing streak.

On July 17th he homered & drove in four runs in the Mets 14-4 win in Minnesota. Three days later, he drove in four more runs, with a three hit day & another HR.

The Mets fortunes turned around, as they began to win more & put together some big win streaks. But on July 27th, Smith went down with an injury to his left foot, putting him on the 60 day IL. At that point the Mets were 48-55, 12 1/2 games out.

Smith did make a triumphant return for the last game of the season. Smith had been in the dugout, cheering his team on during the wild card race, but was not able to play. Although the Mets were out of the race, they did put in a 87 win season. 

On September 29th, he was put in the game as a pinch hitter in the 11th inning of a 6-6 game with the Atlanta Braves, at Citi Field. 

With two men on, Smith connected off Grant Dayton, with a walk off three run HR. The Mets won the game & completed a series sweep of Atlanta to close out the year. It was Smith's happiest Mets moment.

In 2019, he had his most successful year batting .282 with 11 HRs 10 doubles & 25 RBIs. He posted his career best .355 on base %, a good 100 points higher than the previous year. 

This year may show signs of him being an every day player after much anticipation. Although it may not be with the Mets as the team has been shopping him in the off season.

In a three year career he has 115 hits 25 HRs 27 doubles 62 RBIs 1 triple, 37 walks 140 strike outs & a .295 on base %. He has played 110 games at first & 46 in the out field.


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