Dominic Smith and the attitude of these Mets

Well it’s a week into the season and the Mets are in first place! Where have we heard that before? Hopefully this season the success can continue, but we will see with the competitive division. This early jump on NL East teams certainly helps.

There have been many story lines to follow already in the young season from Pete Alonso’s heroics, to Jacob deGrom’s historic night, to Mickey Callaway’s obsession with J.D. Davis and his “creative” use of the bullpen. The story that strikes me the most is that of Dominic Smith, because while you root for everyone to succeed, some guys you root for more. Smith is someone who is certainly paying dividends to those fans right now.

Drafted out of high school back in 2013, Mets fans longed for him to become their slugger of the future. Unfortunately, through the ranks of the minor leagues his power never seemed to develop, yet he still got called up in late 2017 as their number two prospect. Together with Amed Rosario they seemed primed to bring to Mets back to the playoffs after a disappointing injury-riddled season.

However, from day one of 2018 it seemed the Mets had already passed on Smith, and we all know I actually mean day one. Oversleeping a meeting on the first day of Spring Training (possibly due to his sleep apnea) was all Mets management needed to give the 36-year-old Adrian Gonzalez the first base job. Then, poor production in both Las Vegas and up in the majors combined with Alonso hitting 36 home runs in the minors to make Smith drift even further into obscurity.

But here we are in 2019 with Smith continuing a red-hot Spring in a reserve role for the major league club. Everyone this offseason seemed to forget that there is still no DH in the Senior Circuit and bench players actually have a role. Injuries to Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie certainly have helped as well. Smith has appeared in every game for the blue and orange, going 5/10 with a walk and four runs and RBI. He has proven to be more than just a defensive replacement.

The timing of those five hits has been even better, convincing doubters that he is able to perform in a part-time role. There was an interesting article in Newsday detailing his changed approach to pinch-hitting, with Brandon Nimmo giving him advice.

Despite all these concrete ways Smith has helped the Mets to their first-place start, perhaps the most important way he has helped the team is with his attitude. A player once shamed by the organization is now holding his head up high. A player replaced by a rookie younger than him is the first to celebrate after that rookie’s home run. And a player once passed over by a fanbase is now celebrated. While not everything will go the Mets way in 2019, if they can continue to have a clubhouse fcused on team winning like Smith is, then we might see some October baseball.

6 comments for “Dominic Smith and the attitude of these Mets

  1. Eraff
    April 4, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Dom is in complete control of making himself Valuable….to Himself, The Mets, and the rest of Baseball. At AAA or at MLB…this is Dom’s shot to get a committed Big Shot at The MLB Level. He can be a Player or a Trade Chip–either way, Great for Him!!!

  2. Henry
    April 4, 2019 at 9:02 am

    One second of fact-checking would have revealed that Pete Alonso is one year *older* than Dom Smith, not younger.

    • April 4, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Henry beat me to it.

      • BVac
        April 4, 2019 at 10:30 am

        Yes meant to make the point that he was passed by a prospect older than him, apologies for the mistake. Alonso is 6 months older than Smith. Thanks for catching that and thanks for reading!

  3. Name
    April 4, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Just an interesting observation, but so far our hitters have been all or nothing at the plate

    We have 6 guys with .360 BA or higher
    We have 5 guys with .207 BA or lower

    We have just 1 guy with a BA in what i was consider the “normal range” of .225-.290

  4. April 4, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    I believe you’d see this in any short span of games…if lot’s of guys are going well, you do ok…if lots of guys are doing poorly, you struggle—it’s not ever that all the guys are doing the same thing

    Situational Hitting, successfully or not, seems to be the most observable early and wide spread trait—that’s interesting

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