Las Vegas, Nevada —— At the top of this post, watch our scouting video of New York Mets top first base prospect Dominic Smith, taken from a series of his playing for the Las Vegas 51s in a Triple-A Pacific Coast League series against the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes.
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Dominic Smith scouting report notes
Talk to Dominic Smith a time or two and it’s easy to forget he’s still just 21 years old on account of his remarkable maturity and the slow heartbeat with which he plays the game. Watch him step up to the plate a few times, too, and you’ll be even more surprised to consider how quickly he’s gotten to Triple-A, and how advanced his development with the bat has been to this point. Smith is tearing it up in the Pacific Coast League right now, slashing .309/.361/.447/.808 through his first 123 at-bats with the Las Vegas 51s, and on merit alone with roster context removed, he really shouldn’t be far from the New York Mets and a big league career.
Smith is already a professional hitter through and through, far more so than you’d imagine from a 21-year-old kid in Triple-A. He’s exceptional at hitting the ball the other way and more than content to go with the way he’s being pitched. He’ll be somewhat difficult to shift against in that regard, considering he has the plate coverage and discipline to smack a single the other way with ease. He has a calm, quiet set-up at the plate—which matches his personality on and off the field—and he’s not liable to get beat at the strikeout rates typical of so many power hitters’ in today’s game.
Oh, about that power, too: Smith is slowly building out the home run and doubles aspect of his game, proving that, like so many hitters before him, the power tool is often the last to develop. Yes, his plate coverage is good enough to go the other way and slap singles all day, but he’s finally starting to understand the importance of taking a few pitches and waiting for the one he can really drive. That alone will help his power totals in short order here, coupled with the fact that he is (and always has been) a big, strong kid with above-average bat speed who can turn on a ball with ease and hit it a long, long way. He lost a considerable amount of weight this offseason, too, and proved that he has the desire to do the off-field things necessary to supplement his game. Improved physical conditioning ought to help his power stroke as it’s helped his defensive work at first base.
Speaking of that defensive work, Smith is a natural over at first base, with soft hands, a smooth glove, and a very good feel for the footwork of the position. That’s a good thing, considering the Dominic Smith scouting report includes poor foot speed, left-handedness, and a bulkier body type—all things that leave precious few other positions where he could find a home in the future. But he’ll be far from a defensive hole at first and could even become an above-average defender there one day.
At his age and with his offensive skills and defensive feel, Dominic Smith will almost undoubtedly be the New York Mets’ first baseman for some time to come. We’ll see when he gets a chance—with T.J. Rivera and Lucas Duda in the big leagues now, Smith is blocked, at least temporarily—and the fact that he can’t really play another position hurts his short-term chances of being called up by the club in 2017. But long term, Smith should turn himself into a more-than-serviceable first baseman for the New York Mets with phenomenal contact skills, a great eye at the plate, and the budding power stroke that will be needed for him to stay at the position on an everyday basis. He’s taken to the professional game extremely quickly, he has the maturity and self-awareness of a 30-year-old at just 21, and alone with Amed Rosario, he should help usher in another exciting new youth movement for the Mets.
To read our feature interview with the New York Mets’ Dominic Smith that was also published today, please click here.
To visit Dominic Smith’s player page, please click here.
Dominic Smith scouting report: 140 characters or less
Mature past his years with an advanced approach at the plate, Dominic Smith is on the doorstep of being a MLB regular at just 21 years old.
Dominic Smith scouting report video
Here’s a look at our most recent Dominic Smith baseball video, taken during a late April series for the Las Vegas 51s against the Albuquerque Isotopes:
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Dominic Smith scouting report GIFs
In addition to our video clips, we broke out some Dominic Smith baseball GIFs for a deeper look at swing mechanics, etc.:
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In this Las Vegas 51s / New York Mets / Dominic Smith baseball scouting report: