Dom Smith is in a weird limbo

Drafted 11th overall in the 2013 draft, Dominic Smith was supposed to be the first baseman of the future for the New York Mets. He was going to fill in the void that would be left be players like Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, or whoever else the Mets would find to plug in that position. Around now was the time that Smith was supposed to blossom into becoming the starting first baseman, and be a part of the franchise for years to come. Unfortunately for Smith a whole host of problems, some self-inflicted and some out of his control, have so far derailed that plan.

One of the problems that has so far prevented Smith from becoming the everyday first baseman is the lineup that they have assembled around him. A lot of the players on the roster of the Mets have forced Smith out of playing first base. Most notably last season, Jay Bruce started earning starts at first because of the logjam in the outfield. With Bruce’s value at the plate larger than Smith’s, the true first baseman of the pair earned only seven more starts than the other. Smith even earned starts in the outfield in last year’s positional mumbo-jumbo, which was of course out of Smith’s control. Obviously, this was not the plan when Smith was drafted.

Also out of Smith’s control has been the meteoric rise of Peter Alonso. Alonso was just voted the breakout prospect of the year by fans on Milb.com as their breakout prospect of the year. Alonso recently hit a ball with an exit velocity of 116.3 miles per hour. This was not only the hardest hit ball by a Mets player this season, but the hardest hit from a Met player since Statcast started tracking exit velocity. One could go on about Alonso, and the name that he is making in the minor league system. This should excite Mets fans, especially now that he will be playing his ball on the eastern side of the United States. However, it should worry Smith to see a player rising so fast through the system at his position. It is possible that Alonso might be the foot that Smith needs to his rear to get things together at the big league level, but it also might be the foot that kicks him off this team.

There have also been occasions where Smith has hurt his own case for being a mainstay on the team. After showing progress in the 2017 offseason by shedding 35 pounds, Smith arrived late to a meeting before the first spring training game of the year. Considering he was trying to show that he deserved the starting nod, this was a terrible look for Smith.

For the moment, Smith is stuck in a limbo that seems nearly impossible to escape. If certain factors like the ascent of Alonso and the outfield logjam did not arise during the 2018 season, Smith very well may have been the starting first baseman for the Mets. Until then, he is stuck, waiting for something to give.

14 comments for “Dom Smith is in a weird limbo

  1. November 3, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Dom is 23…if He hits, he’ll have a career, somewhere.

  2. TexasGusCC
    November 3, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Dominic Smith is at worst another Jay Bruce. Jettison Bruce and give Smith that spot. There are teams that could use Bruce, such as the Twins, Royals, Rockies, Indians, or even the Rangers but he received a limited no trade clause to eight teams and I don’t know what teams those are.

    • Chris F
      November 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Where do you out Alonso? Trade chip while the hope is high, and since this is a win now team, talk to the White Sox about Abreu?

      • TexasGusCC
        November 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm

        No sir. Abreu is passed the middle of his upside down parabola.

    • TJ
      November 3, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Gus,
      I agree that it makes the most sense to deal Bruce, retain both Smith and Alonso, and add a good RH CF. That would leave the opening day OF roster with Conforto, Nimmo, Lagares, Smith, and the new RH CF, and Cespedes when recovered. It also leaves an opening to add at 3B, and Smith/Frazier can be 1B options.

      As you state, Bruce even with his limitations could fit several teams. The main problem with this is Bruce’s deal – owed $28 million over the next two years plus the no trade. I can’t see another team picking up more than $12 million…are the new BVW Mets going to eat $16 million? I doubt it.

      • TexasGusCC
        November 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        See what team hires Alderson and call them… cheap shot, I know. But, I wish the man well.

        If you want to get on the map, sign Donaldson and flip Flores for a reliever. Use Frazier in Flores’ role and if there isn’t much of a market for Bruce, Bruce in LF and Nimmo in CF with Lagares helping solidify things is good enough for now. It will buy another year while Cespedes heals.

        • November 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm

          Gus… Flo is now a victim of the Rules of Arbitration. He’s about to become more than just a Very Limited Player—He’s going to be a very overpriced and very limited player. Nobody wants him at the $5million that an Arbitrator will like award….and certainly not when you consider trading someone for him.

          He needs to rock an 850 OPS for anyone to let him near a glove again… and he’ll probably need to do at least that to be a mostly dh, first base fill.

          Non-Tender…there are several better bench options out there.

          • TexasGusCC
            November 3, 2018 at 8:09 pm

            LOLLL, not only would he find work, he would find it very quickly. Please educate me on the bench options and how much you think they could be gotten for. I shake my head at the people of this blog that think $5MM is a lot for Flores. Granderson got $5MM last year to sit the bench. Cabrera got $8MM and he was no better defensively than Flores would be at second.

            FYI, Flores has been on average a 1.5 fWAR player over 600 PAs in his five years. Bruce is an Outfielder! that averages half that and makes $13MM per year.

            Are there players more productive that make less? Sure there are. Are there players less productive that make more? Sure. But overall, Flores is not overpaid. And for the “arthritic” knees, that’s a crock because he said in an interview that he was having one knee scoped so he said, “since I’m doing one, I told them to do the other one too,” in an interview we all heard on TV. Players get knees scoped all the time. Flores is more of a solution on this team than a problem. For what his job is, many teams would love to have him, and probably more than the $5MM.

            • November 4, 2018 at 5:34 am

              A Back-up RH, “almost one position” 1stbaseman does not have much value as a National League Player…not with 4 man benches.

              For 3.5 million more, I can put Todd Frazier in the Role…and He can Play 3rd Base as well! For 4.5 Million Less, I can put Pete Alonzo in that Role—and there’s a possiblity that He is actually a big enough Batting Gorilla.

              I can keep Frazier at 3rd…. Put Alonzo in The Wilmer Role (eventually), and put a Useable player on the bench.

              Wilmer is not a baseball player when the bat drops from his hands….and he’s not good enough with the bat to ignore it. He’s a liability when he’s standing anywhere but the batters box. He’s been a bad piece when he was making less than a million, and he’s certainly a bad piece at higher prices.

  3. Pete from NJ
    November 3, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I was hoping Tex would put Arizona in the mix. Our guys jettison Bruce and take Greinke’s contract off their hands
    Done.

    Opens up a spot for Smith/Alonso and the Mets get a dynamic(expensive)pitcher.

    Hows that for a (expletive)move?

  4. Name
    November 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    It’s been crystal clear since day 1 that he’s Jon Singleton 2.0

  5. November 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Jon Singleton!!!!!!!! Omg!!!!! That’s a Joke, right?

  6. MattyMets
    November 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I believe the Mets bungled the Dom Smith situation. They’ve not given him a fair chance but also managed to destroy his trade value. They never should have brought in Adrian Gonzalez. That really complicated matters. Also I don’t think our evaluation of him was accurate. He came up with a reputation as a future gold glover. He shows limited range and average hands. I think his situation is a case study for what’s been wrong with the organization and hopefully something Van Wagenen can remedy.

    • Name
      November 4, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      What exactly was unfair?

      They gave him a 1/3 of a season last year and he was horrible in every facet. So i guess the fair thing to do would hand him the starting job next year on a silver platter.

      Then in spring training, he came in still fat and late to games. So the fair thing would have been to reward him with a roster spot on Opening Day.

      Struggles in Vegas pretty much all year, but the fair thing would have been to promote him and install him as an everyday player.

      When he does get a shot to play in the majors, we still see bad play and horrible mental errors such as throwing to bases where no one is there to field the ball. The fair thing to do would have been to give him a 10 year / $500 mil extension.

      As Chris F suggested in the chatter, the fair thing to would have actually been to send him all the way back down to AA

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