Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at first baseman Dominic Smith.
Player Review: Dominic Smith
Minor Leagues: 84 Games, 337 At Bats, .258 Batting Average, 87 Hits, 21 Doubles, 1 Triple, 6 Home Runs, 41 RBI’s, 52 Runs Scored, 3 Stolen Bases, .708 OPS
Major Leagues: 56 Games, 143 At Bats, .224 Batting Average, 32 Hits, 11 Doubles, 1 Triple, 5 Home Runs, 11 RBI’s, 14 Runs Scored, .675 OPS
Story: After a disappointing showing at the end of 2017, the New York Mets decided not to hand Dominic Smith the first base job. Smith had to compete with veteran Adrian Gonzalez for the gig, and he got off to a bad start by showing up late to the first game of spring training. That earned Smith a quick place in new manager Mickey Callaway’s dog house, and he didn’t get a chance to come out of it after suffering a quad injury, effectively handing the starting job to Gonzalez. The Mets assigned Smith to AAA Las Vegas once he was healthy, where he stayed for the first two months of the year before Gonzalez was cut in early June. Smith got his second shot at the first base job at that point, but it didn’t last long as the Mets decided to hand the gig to Wilmer Flores for some reason. The Mets then decided that they were going to convert Smith to an outfielder, burying him out there and cutting his playing time before demoting him to the minor leagues again in July.
Smith was forced to play more left field in the minor leagues because the Mets had promoted Peter Alonso to AAA, and Alonso’s defensive deficiencies made it more important for him to stay at first than Smith. The Mets brought back Smith back in September but didn’t give him a true evaluation at his natural position, instead trying to see if Jay Bruce could man that spot in 2019. Smith split time between first base and left field in September and did hit better in the season’s final month, but his year was essentially a waste.
Smith wasn’t given a fair shot here by the Mets, who did him a disservice by calling him up in June only to let him sit on the bench behind guys like Flores. The move to left field was also ill advised as Smith, a natural first baseman who actually has a good glove there, looked completely lost on defense in the outfield.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 60%
2019 Role: AAA First Baseman
Smith has clearly been passed by Alonso on the Mets’ organizational depth chart, so he could be trade bait this winter. The problem is that by jerking him around so much in 2018 the Mets destroyed Smith’s value, making a one time top 100 prospect a throw in part of a trade instead of a potential headliner. If Smith comes back, the Mets will likely have him start the year with AAA Syracuse to try and re-establish some value before flipping him for something that can help the big club now.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher Drew Smith!