First base has been a tricky position for the Mets in recent years. With preferred everyday starter Lucas Duda frequently injured in 2016, the Amazin’s turned to others, such as James Loney, to fill the void.
But in due time, Dominic Smith’s left-handed bat may become the long-term solution. Ranked 63rd on MLB.com’s 2017 Prospect Watch, Smith’s power has the potential to propel him to the majors.
Born in Los Angeles, Smith was drafted out of high school by the Mets as the 11th pick in 2012. After a year in the Rookie leagues, Smith made his Single-A debut in Savannah in 2014. He spent time in St. Lucie and Salt River in 2015 before being promoted to Double-A Binghamton.
After a difficult April slump, Smith got his bat rolling in May and never looked back, flashing his power on numerous occasions. He averaged .302 and led Binghamton in power hitting with 14 homers and 91 RBIs.
Smith, 21, made it a priority to lose weight during the offseason after weighing in at more than 250 pounds in 2016. Down 24 pounds by his count, the new and improved Smith will look to add some versatility to his big bat.
“I wanted to change my regimen, eat healthier, and not just go on a diet but just change my lifestyle,” Smith told Newsday in February.
Smith is set to begin this season in Triple-A Las Vegas. Depending on Duda’s health as his contract, which runs through the end of 2017, winds down, Smith’s rise is likely to continue.