Poll: Dominic Smith’s production with a full-time gig

Lost in the hoopla of Jacob deGrom’s big night and Michael Conforto hitting another home run on Wednesday was the production of Dominic Smith, who singled in the game’s first run and homered for the final tally. Smith is trying to salvage a lost season with a strong finish. Since returning to the majors in late August, he has a .279/.313/.574 line in 64 PA. Ten of his 17 hits have gone for extra bases, including four homers. But he’s also been fortunate with a .342 BABIP in this stretch. And the less said about his 29.7 K%, the better.

Smith was considered one of the club’s top prospects. He had a very productive minor league season in 2017 but his major league debut was less than stellar. He hit for more power than expected but he was done in by a .218 BABIP. Overall this year, he’s had much more normal luck with the hits falling in and he’s still showing good power, with a season-long .212 ISO. But the strikeouts are killing him. It’s just really hard to be a good player with a 32.6 K%

With Peter Alonso likely to come up during the 2019 season, Smith apparently has a very small window to carve out a career with the Mets. But this time last year, few would have expected Brandon Nimmo to be a starter for the team, so perhaps it’s too soon to think about Smith being nothing more than trade bait.

The average NL first baseman in 2018 has a .262/.350/.454 line for an .804 OPS. Right now Smith sits with a 700 OPS in 138 PA. How much should we fault him for his .540 OPS in the first half of the year when all he got was sporadic playing time? How much should we credit him for an .887 OPS with more regular playing time but when nothing was on the line? If Smith was to get a full season’s worth of playing time next year – with the Mets or another club – do you think he could put up league average numbers for the position?

Can Dominic Smith be a league average 1B in 2019 if he gets 500+ PA?

  • Yes (58%, 37 Votes)
  • No (42%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 64

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16 comments for “Poll: Dominic Smith’s production with a full-time gig

  1. Steve
    September 27, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I believe that he needs time to adapt to major league pitching with regular playing time. As stated, he did not perform well in the beginning of the year due to sporadic playing. Granted he is playing better with more play but maybe with some luck. He also said in the past that it takes him a while to adapt to the next level which is evident by his past promotions. He needs to be in a position to play regularly. However, I don’t think that can be with the Mets because of Alonso and the number of left handed bats already

  2. September 27, 2018 at 9:56 am

    But if he doesn’t play well in ST what do you do the? Send him down to block Alonso? Someone needs to light a fire under him. Does the team have the patience to wait for him to blossom? And please I don’t want to see him in the outfield. Better options are available.

  3. September 27, 2018 at 10:07 am

    The irony here is if Alonso light it up in ST and sticks with the team. Then you can send Smith back down.

  4. Metsense
    September 27, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I had voted no but if the question said 2020 then I might have voted yes. I think he is immature but when asked about his RBI last night he gave a mature answer. Maybe he is turning the corner. The problem is 13 million dollars to another left- batting first baseman outfielder and a beast in power knocking on the Major League door who bats right-handed. Smith might not get consistent time to develop at the major league level in 19.

  5. b
    September 27, 2018 at 10:19 am

    smith I toast

  6. Pete In Iowa
    September 27, 2018 at 11:57 am

    It would appear he may get his final shot early (Apr/May) in 2019 as Bruce will likely get most of his playing time in the OF until Cespedes returns. If he doesn’t produce then, it will be time to send him back down to AAA and call up Alonso.

  7. TJ
    September 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Dom is 23 years old. He is young, has shown some immarurity, but has also handled a lot of bumps, not the least of which was being asked to embarrass himself learning LF at the MLB level.

    Time will tell who prevails, but for now I still see him as an asset and part of a deep pool of infield prospects. To me he can clearly play in the bigs, but the question is will he be a starting 1b on a contender or for a team not expected to win. He still belongs on the team’s top 10 prospect list, even if all these rating group pull a guy off the minute he hits the bigs.

    • September 27, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      The overwhelming majority of prospect lists use rookie eligibility to determine which guys they include and which guys they don’t. You need to have fewer than 131 ABs to retain rookie status. Smith in 2017 had 167 ABs, which is why he did not show up on prospect lists prior to this season.

  8. Pete from NJ
    September 27, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    I also voted yes, so yes a few more good ABs this weekend would go a long way for the young man’s mental health over the winter. As far as the 2018 season,. I’m sure his spring training injury changed his season and perhaps was one the missing links for the team’s fortunes.

    Just to throw confusion into all this, the team is leftie heavy so it would be helpful if Smith lined up on the other side of the plate.

  9. Name
    September 27, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Saying Dom got no consistent playing time early in the year is not accurate. He started 10 of 15 games from June 12th to June 26th and was a major reason for the Mets june swoon. His playing time then diminished because he sucked.

    That’s on par with his playing time in September – since the 7th he’s started 13 of 19 games.

  10. TexasGusCC
    September 27, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    As Name just said and Steve said up top, Smith has gotten a chance but it’s hard to expect any rookie to hit the floor running.

    Not a single rookie that I know has given his “A” game in his rookie year. Not Baez (who should be MVP), not Lindor (who may be MVP), and not Trout (who can be MVP every year). All of these guys initially offer about 60% of their peak production. Too, I’m holding the same for Alonso. I’m not expecting him to be a stud right out of the gates. And if anyone wants to mention Jeff McNeil, I’ll mention Joe Panik.

    I feel the best use of Smith is the way Nimmo broke in: off the bench. Last week in an interview with Steve Gelbs, Nimmo cited his early use as the reason he has learned to come off the bench prepared to hit. It may have helped his everyday game in focusing on each at bat.

    Lastly, Smith was an outfielder and pitcher in high school, so he can re-learn the outfield. And, he is playing winter ball to get some more experience there. In fact, I see Smith having Jay Bruce’s role when Bruce is moved to another team. To me, that’s Smith’s ceiling.

    P.S.: League average is 113RC+ for first basemen. Can’t see that in Smith next year.

    • Name
      September 27, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      “Not a single rookie that I know has given his “A” game in his rookie year.”

      Really? Let’s start at home…
      Michael Conforto, David Wright, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz. Even lesser names like McNeil, TJ Rivera, Lugo, Gsellman did well up front.

      I’d like to triple, or maybe even quadruple down, the Jon Singleton comp.

      • TexasGusCC
        September 28, 2018 at 12:52 am

        I’m not talking pitchers, they don’t need to know hitters, hitters need to know them.

        If you think 2015 is the best Conforto we will see in his career, then I’m sorry to hear that.

        Wright was at 120 RC+ his rookie year, when at his best he was routinely in the 140’s and 150’s. My point exactly. Maybe Wright was 70% of his best rather than 60. Why didn’t you counter the names I gave? There’s More if you want? Schmidt, Ortiz, Gwynn, Puckett… All these Hall of Famers were better later in their careers than their rookie year.

        McNeil? After a month? Look up Joe Panik.

        • Name
          September 28, 2018 at 2:13 pm

          I don’t know what point you’re trying to prove. My point is that there are plenty of guys who play well starting on day 1.

          And there certainly are guys who struggled in the beginning and figure it out later. But there are probably even more examples of guys who struggle in the beginning and never figure it out.

          What leads you to believe Smith will follow the Trout-path versus a bust like Jon Singleton or Fernando Martinez or (insert another failed prospect)?

          • TexasGusCC
            September 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm

            I was referring to Jeff McNeil. In my comments yesterday, I called Smith a bench piece and in my original comment above, I said Smith’s ceiling is Jay Bruce.

          • TexasGusCC
            September 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm

            In rereading much later, I see your point. But, it was about McNeil.

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