The New York Mets’ season is over, a fact they conceded when they sold at the trade deadline and promoted shortstop Amed Rosario to the big leagues. Rosario’s call up was about two months overdue but he has showed flashes of his immense potential already, which is exciting for Mets’ fans as they look ahead to 2018. Another prospect who should be called up soon is first baseman Dominic Smith, who the Mets are projecting as their starter at that position next season. Smith clearly looks ready for the majors, batting .332 with 16 homers and 74 RBI’s for Triple-A Las Vegas, and was recently named the Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Month for July. In 26 games last month, Smith raked for the 51’s, batting .385 with eight homers and 26 RBI’s.
With the Mets clearly in evaluation mode, its fair to ask why Smith isn’t at the big league level yet. General Manager Sandy Alderson was vague when asked about Smith’s timetable earlier this week, noting that the Mets want to bring him up in the near future, Joe Giglio of NJ.com reports. Alderson indicated that the Mets definitely are planning on bringing Smith up before September 1st, but the main issue appears to be opening a roster spot for him. Although the Mets traded incumbent Lucas Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the deadline, they still have a log jam of position players. Jay Bruce has seen time at first base as the team tries to find at bats to showcase him and Curtis Granderson for trade suitors, while Mets’ manager Terry Collins also suggested Neil Walker will find at bats there as well. The Mets will need to unload a player to clear both a 25 and 40 man roster spot for Smith, either via trade or simply releasing a player.
When Smith finally comes up to the majors he will be the primary first baseman, much like how Rosario is the primary shortstop now. It does the Mets no good to bring Smith up now only to have him sitting behind Bruce, Walker, and Wilmer Flores at first base. The only way that Smith will develop is by playing every day, and the Mets appear to be in no hurry to create a spot for him right now. Hopefully the fact that Bruce and Granderson cleared trade waivers will allow the Mets to find a deal for one of them, creating opportunities for playing time for Smith and other young players. The longer the Mets wait to get Smith up only hurts their chances of finding out what they have in him prior to the 2018 campaign.