Mets Minors: Is Dominic Smith ready?

You’ve seen me write about Dominic Smith before.  In 2013 we began talking about Smith and how long he’d take to reach the majors.  In that article we predicted that come 2018, we’d be talking about Smith reaching the majors.  In 2014 we wondered if Smith would be the heir to Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.  In 2015 we watched Smith struggle mightily for half the year before turning things on in the second half.  In 2016 we enjoyed an emergence of Smith as a more complete hitter but, instead of getting to see him in Flushing, watched the Mets sign James Loney.

 

This year I’ve talked about Smith’s general readiness for the majors.  When Lucas Duda was injured again, I wondered if the Mets might finally bring Smith up.  They didn’t then, but they certainly may soon.  The Trade Deadline is fast approaching and the Mets are determining if they are destined to be “Buyers” or “Sellers” when it does.  Either way, Duda’s days in Mets uniform have to be numbered.

 

In 2017 Smith has been one of the most impressive prospects for the Mets.  As of today he is in the midst of a 18 game hitting streak, has the highest slugging percentage of his career (thanks to the PCL) and has avoided the slumps and bumps we’ve seen in previous years.

 

If the Mets decide they are “Buyers”: Smith is the best defensive option that the Mets have at first base, he’s been very consistent and could be a boon to the offense as well.  The Mets need pitching right now, so it might take a three team deal to move Duda and get what we need but it’s certainly possible.  The Mets have much more power with Duda but that doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t be better off with Smith at first.

 

If the Mets decide they are “Sellers”: Smith and Rosario need to find their way to Queens to get ready for the 2018 season.  That’s a total no brainer.

 

International Free Agency:

 

Ronny Mauricio – The Mets signed Mauricio who MLB.com had ranked 10th overall in their international rankings.  He’s a contact hitting shortstop who may eventually switch to third base or the outfield.  He’s supposed to be sound defensively but could size himself out of the position.  There isn’t much power, as of yet, but scouts think it will develop later on.

 

Adrian Hernandez – A complete hitter who has the ability to hit for contact and power.  He has show a tendency to pull the ball and he’s a bit of a free swinger but he could develop into an impact hitter.  He currently projects to play centerfield but could move to one of the corners if the team develops his power over his speed and range.

 

AAA: Las Vegas 51s

 

Amed Rosario swinging a better bat – He hit .286 over his last 10 games which could signal that he’s pulled out of his slump.

 

Gavin Cecchini back in the minors – The Mets are moving players around like hot potatoes.

 

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

 

Chris Flexen continues to impress – Another fabulous start for AA.

 

P.J. Conlon recovers – After a few bad starts it was a positive step.

 

Corey Oswalt looks good – The 2018 Mets will have far more backup options in case of injury.

 

A+: Port St. Lucie Mets

 

Justin Dunn still not impressive – He’s been better but there hasn’t been any signs of greatness from the former first round pick.

 

Wuilmer Becerra back to slumping – There’s been more bad than good this year.

 

Peter Alonso continues to look better – He’s got another week of hitting .300 under his belt and his numbers continue to rise.

 

Jordan Humphreys lacks power – However his second start in Advanced A does get results.

 

Merandy Gonzalez continues to be consistent – He’s taken the promotion in stride and is looking to move up the prospect rankings.

 

Eudor Garcia is healthy again – The Mets have a log jam of third base prospects now.

 

A: Columbia Fireflies

 

Desmond Lindsay last played 6/12

 

Thomas Szapucki isn’t dominating yet – He’s only got a few outings this year and he’s been fine but we want more.

 

Andres Gimenez is quietly effective – Doesn’t have gaudy stats but he’s one of the few hitters on the Fireflies.

 

A-: Brooklyn Cyclones

 

Jose Miguel Medina is the star of Brooklyn – He’s only 20 and he’s leading the team in most offensive categories.

 

R2: Kingsport Mets

 

Juan Uriarte looks great – This 19 year old catcher has started the year off with a bang.

 

R1: GCL Mets

 

Guillermo Granadillo has extra base power – In 6 games played he has 2 doubles and 2 triples.

 

Hansel Moreno off to a good start – Hitting .500 through 6 games isn’t the easiest thing to do.

 

Daison Acosta is the Ace of this staff – Things have looked good through his first two starts.

30 comments for “Mets Minors: Is Dominic Smith ready?

  1. Mack
    July 3, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Morning Dave.

    I always look at these ‘is he ready’ spins in the opposite way.

    Many, included Sandy and Company say they don’t want to expose a rookie too early. I never consider anyone being too early to get in some PA or IPs in the majors.

    Lucas Duda has no future as a Mets and the Mets are going nowhere this season.

    Bring up both Smith and Amed Rosario and make two roster adjustments.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

    • David Groveman
      July 3, 2017 at 10:13 am

      I think Duda is worth something to a team needing a bat and would like to get something back for him.

      • Jimmy P
        July 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        Count me as one fan who is not entirely convinced that Duda has no future with the Mets.

        Yes, he’s a free agent after the season.

        But who is going to sign him and for how much?

        I really struggle to assess his worth in the marketplace, particularly considering the back injury from last season. I don’t see him getting a big contract.

        What was the number that Sandy offered as an extension? Anybody recall? Duda rejected that figure. Sandy refused to negotiate upward. Stalemate.

        Now time has passed. Will someone offer Duda a better contract?

        Look, it’s entirely possible that Dominick Smith is not a league-average ML first baseman. He might not be as good as Duda. And it might not be all that close.

        I’d love to see the Mets do better than Duda at 1B — and I know that he gets a lot of undeserved criticism from fans — but at the same time I’d hate to see them downgrade the position.

        Sure, flip him if you can get something in return. But I’d keep the door open over the winter. Not ruling out a return.

        BTW, one option — “Just move Bruce to 1B” — assumes that Jay is willing to make that transition for the pleasure of a contract in NYC. I don’t know the guy. But it could be he’s prefer to play RF/DH in another burg.

        Is the plan to lose them both?

        I’d love to see Conforto settle into a regular corner OF spot next season.

  2. Hobie
    July 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Eudor healthy? No Eudor sightings in over a week. Heard he’s AWOL… any skinny?

    • David Groveman
      July 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Looks like a goof on my part.

      Many apologies.

    • Mack
      July 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      I talked on the telephone with Eudor last night.

      He’s fine and he’s on the way to Mexico to play baseball.

  3. Chris F
    July 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

    David can you give us some appraisal of the “logjam of 3B prospects”. I we have a similar middle infield logjam, yet the only one that will really make it seem like Rosario. Is there an heir apparent in there?

    Love all this info form the pipeline. Thanks for keeping us smart.

    • David Groveman
      July 3, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Gavin Cecchini is in AAA
      David Thompson is in AA
      Jhoan Urena is in A+
      Eudor Garcia is in A+

      Thompson has been good at points this year but not good enough to promote, Urena has earned a promotion but is blocked, and Garcia would create a log jam but is actually hurt.

      • July 3, 2017 at 11:30 am

        Nine different players have been at 3B for Las Vegas this year. Gavin Cecchini is not one of them. It seems unlikely that he has the arm for the position.

        In his last 56 games, covering 207 PA, Thompson has a .296/.377/.486 line. It would be nice to see a little more over-the-fence power but he has 22 XBH in this span. Like Granderson, he got off to a miserable start and his overall line doesn’t accurately display how well he’s played for most of the year.

        • Chris F
          July 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm

          So that is grim. What Im hearing is that there is no answer to 3B at this time. It is miserable to see TJ or Flores there. Reyes is cooked. Josh Satin were are you??????????????????????????/

          SMH – how could a GM allow this to happen?

          • July 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm

            Why is it miserable to see Rivera there? He’s a league-average hitter for the position and his defense seems below-average but passable. I’d like there to be an upgrade but that’s far from the worst problem on the team.

            The 3B problems for the Mets, in order of importance:

            1. Wright injury
            2. The organization insisting on putting Flores there, despite all evidence to the contrary that he cannot play the position.
            3. No highly-drafted player working out. Alderson has spent top 5 picks on Matt Reynolds, Eudor Garcia, David Thompson and now Mark Vientos. Still hope for the latter two.

            It’s almost like Wayne Garrett in the 1970s – just play TJ Rivera, live with him, and move on to other problems.

            • July 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm

              I don’t have an issue with Flores/Rivera playing third, so long as there’s talent around the infield. Both are bat-first players but they shouldn’t make too many mistakes – especially Rivera. Rosario at short should help reduce required range for the hot corner and Smith should be able to dig out errant throws.

              • July 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm

                I always thought of myself as someone who didn’t care much about defense. Make room for the bat and we’ll live with the defense.

                But that’s always assumed a basic level of competence. Flores doesn’t have that at 3B. His glove is not good and his arm is worse. Outside of a Steve Sax-Chuck Knoblauch case of the yips – I’ve never seen someone struggle as much as Flores to make an accurate throw to the bag in a non-pressure situation. They keep track of scoops by a first baseman. I bet if they took that data and see who made the throws, Flores would be at the top.

                He should be viewed as a 3B much the same way Kevin Mitchell was viewed as a SS.

                • Jimmy P
                  July 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm

                  I don’t think Rivera is any better than Wilmer at 3B, and very possibly worse.

                • July 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

                  Clearly, the Mets aren’t enamored of Rivera’s defense. He’s only played 172 innings in the majors at 3B. I have no problem believing he’s not a good defensive third baseman. Having said that, Wilmer Flores has the worst infield arm I have ever seen.

                  Flores has started 32 games at third base this year. How many of those do you think we could go back and look and see something he did that either resulted in an error, resulted in only one out instead of two, or was saved an error by the first baseman? I’d put the under/over at 25.

                • Chris F
                  July 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm

                  and Id go over. Its pretty much every second or thrid attempt had got real issues. THe one thing about Duda I do like, is that he scoops with the best…and he has had a ton of practice.

                • MattyMets
                  July 5, 2017 at 3:24 pm

                  I could see one of Flores or Rivera playing second next year while the other is the primary infield backup. Neither should play third outside of an emergency. Unless Walker or Cabrera is willing to move there and proves they can handle it, the Mets are going to have to go outside the organization in 2018.

        • Jimmy P
          July 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

          From what I saw, Thompson would be a poor defender at 3B, but I haven’t seen much of him.

          My impression was a big, lumbering guy. Not a glove.

          Could be wrong!

          • July 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm

            Certainly when he was drafted the buzz was that he was a poor defensive third baseman. However, his reviews as a professional have been more positive. From what I’ve read, the big questions is arm strength. Here’s what Teddy Klein wrote about him:

            “Thompson’s actions in the infield are good, getting good jumps and featuring excellent hands at the hot corner. The issue making his positional future unclear at third is the arm. To throw across the diamond to first, a third baseman needs an above-average or plus arm. Due to all the shoulder injuries Thompson has had, he only has fringe-average arm strength, making him relatively stretched at third.”

            http://www.metstemplarprospects.com/2017/03/29/prospect-profile-3b-david-thompson/

            That was before this season. He’s played 72 games at 3B and has 4 errors. Errors can be very subjective and a good 1B can save you a few on throws. It’s hardly an end-all number. Having said that, it doesn’t seem a big number.

      • Chris F
        July 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm

        I really liked the defense from Phillip Evans when we saw him in ST. He has a cannon for and arm, what looks like great range. Isnt he at LV?

  4. Jimmy P
    July 3, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I am hopeful on Alonso and Szapucki. Coming back from injury is tough, hard to get into sync again. I just hope these guys can stay on the field and put together a solid second half of the season.

    What we’ve seen with d’Arnaud, and what I’ve learned over the years, is that staying on the field is such a crucial requirement in terms of overall development.

    • Chris F
      July 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      You know, I was driving the other day thinking about the following: Would I rather have a roster dominated by above average players that all stay on the field, or a team with some real star-level talent but which spends long tracts on the DL. After some time, I thought Id rather have a team of 2 WAR players than otherwise.

      • July 3, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        Star-level talent doesn’t matter because they won’t be on the field. You’re comparing below-average replacements to above-average starters.

    • IDRAFT
      July 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      And actual contributions to winning.

  5. Metsense
    July 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Based on this sites research on Las Vegas statistics and the conversion to MLB, Smith and Rosario don’t appear to be offensively ready for the next step up. Rosario converts to a 606 OPS and Smith a 610 OPS. Using 2016 stats at Las Vegas TJ Rivera projected to a 659 OPS (he has a career MLB OPS of 782) and Nimmo a 701 OPS in Vegas ( and has a MLB career 684 OPS). Smith and Rosario may over perform like TJ has but “right now” they may not be better offensively as Reyes at SS and Flores or TJ at first base. I am playing the devil’s advocate here. Until after the trade deadline passes and the roster is altered they may be better off in the minors.

  6. IDRAFT
    July 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Based mostly on my cynical nature and Sandy’s propensity for drafting guys who are fringe major league players (Nimmo, Cecchini, Reynolds, Plawecki) with high picks I am pessimistic on Smith. A minor league first baseman with over 2,000 plate appearances and all of 32 minor league home runs screams Doug Mientkiewicz to me. I didn’t enjoy that experience the first time and would be alarmed if we didn’t make a true effort to keep Duda if Smith is the alternative.

    Now prove me wrong Dom!

    • July 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      I mostly agree with this.

      It’s hard to argue with the idea that 2017 Duda >> 2017 Smith. And I feel that will be the case in 2018, too. The question becomes: How much longer will that be true? If Duda is willing to sign a one or a two-year deal, I expect him to return.

  7. TexasGusCC
    July 3, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Smith homered in the first inning to take the hits lead in the PCL. I prefer the better hitter that can develop power, over Duda types. Power is the last skill to master.

    • TexasGusCC
      July 4, 2017 at 1:03 am

      Two homeruns and a double tonight for our future first baseman. I would imagine that with teams shying away from the no glove, no average, high strikeout sluggers, we would embrace a player that can give us a .300+ average, maybe 40+ doubles, 20+ homeruns, and a great glove.

      Question:
      What would you rather have at first base, Duda – a lumbering slugger that can be shifted and doesn’t hit many meaningful homeruns – or a Mark Grace possibly Keith Hernandez type player?

      Give me Grace/Hernandez every day! In the years we’ve had Duda, only one year did I feel he was a big part of the solution to winning a championship. Smith can become a great run producer on offense and a great run saver on defense.

      • Popeye
        July 4, 2017 at 5:55 pm

        Grace? Keith? If Smith was seen as that kind of prospect it would bring a lot of optimism to 2018. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. 260/10/60 batting 7th seems more likely.

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