Dominic Smith, “heavy” hitting slugger

Numerous reports indicate that this is probably the last season as a Met for first baseman Lucas Duda. He will either be traded before the July 31 deadline or else will likely sign elsewhere for the 2018 campaign, as his current contract with the Mets expires after this season.

Assuming Duda does go, the presumptive choice within the organization to take over at first base is Dominic Smith, currently playing first for the Las Vegas 51s of the PCL. Smith is putting up impressive numbers at the AAA level, with a slash line of .337/.391/.526 in 100 games. As we know, the PCL with its numerous stadiums at a high elevation is a batter’s paradise, but Smith showed he could also hit last year at Binghamton in AA ball in a more pitcher-friendly environment.

The stat I am going to concentrate on for this piece is not his BA or his SLG, but his WGT. The 22 year old Smith has shown considerable variance in his weight over his career. When signed as the Mets first round draft choice after the June 2013 draft, he was listed as 6-0/185 lbs. At the end of last year, the six foot part had not changed but the weight had soared to 258 lbs. That is not a frame you see very often in MLB, especially on a player in his early 20s.

To his credit Smith shed some pounds in the most recent off-season, he had said that he had changed his dietary habits as well as his workout regimen. As a result, FanGraphs now lists him as 6-0/239. That is still an unusual build for a first sacker, typically one is taller and not as heavy.

Looking around some of the prominent active NL first basemen, we find Paul Goldschmidt at 6-3/225, Joey Votto at 6-2/220, Anthony Rizzo at 6-3/240, Freddie Freeman at 6-5/220 and Wil Myers at 6-3/205. Digging into the past, classic Met first baseman Keith Hernandez was listed as 6-0/195.

Smith is certainly getting the job done this year. However the fact that he went from 185 pounds in 2013 to 258 lbs in 2016 is disturbing. Even though he lost some weight during this off-season, we have all seen people lose some poundage then pack it all and more back on. Smith at 239 pounds could be a very successful player, a heavy hitter so to speak. Smith at 258 pounds (or more, as he ages) could be a hitter who’s heavy, and on the way to a shorter and less productive career due to a greater chance of injury via the extra stress on his frame.

7 comments for “Dominic Smith, “heavy” hitting slugger

  1. Eraff
    July 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Most issues of weight become more concerning as players age—young guys carry extra baggage better. Certainly Smith would benefit by better conditioning/a better body…it’s probably affect his Longevity more than his performance.

    Anyway…ballplayers are only “Fat” when they suck

    • MattyMets
      July 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Reaffirms- that’s so true. Nobody ever called Kirby Puckett or Tony Gwynn fat. If Smith plays like those guys I think we’ll all agree to call him skinny minnie.

      • John Fox
        July 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        I did see an article where someone compared the way Smith looked last year (at 258 lbs) with the way Tony Gwynn looked at the end of his career.

  2. IB
    July 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I just watched a clip of Smith hitting his 15th homer of the year when I read this. He looks pretty solid. Maybe it’s mid-season form. Hope he keeps it up.

  3. MattyMets
    July 26, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    “Reaffirms” is autocorrect for “Eraff”

  4. Jimmy P
    July 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    He’s kind of young for the annual “best shape of my life” routine, but I suspect we better get used to it.

    • Chris F
      July 26, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Hes in the express lane to Prince Fielder, and possibly Burger King.

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