Majoring on the Minors: Top 30 Prospects - Dominic Smith - Vol. 4



By now if you read my first three Top Prospects articles, you know that I approach it a bit differently - 2 lists:

·       A top 20 list of guys who are closing in on the big leagues.  Guys who could help us in the near future or be trade bait.

·       A top 10 list of lower minors guys who likely won’t show up until 2017 or later.

I start with the Top 10 List of Down-The-Road Mets Prospects.

I further sub-divided and ranked the 10 into the top 5 and the next 5.

My Top 5 from I refer to as my GUPPY SQUADRON LEADERS.  Guppies headed towards possible future stardom. Budding rock stars. 

Here’s my Guppy Squadron Leader List So Far:

# 1 - Marcos Molina

#2 – Michael Conforto

#3 – Amed Rosario

Today, add to that list #4:

Dominic Smith

A number of commentators were disturbed at Mr. Smith only having a single dinger in 2014 on Savannah.  You know, the glass half empty folks. 

First, he played a full 2014 season in mid-A Savannah, in a season where he only turned 19 in mid-June.  To me that is very impressive. 

Secondly, his 2014 stats were suppressed by a very slow (11 for 69) start to the season in April, understandable since he skipped Brooklyn and was sent straight to mid-A ball.  Afterwards, he hit .290 in 392 at bats with 28 extra base hits.  Pretty sweet.  And only 77 Ks in 126 games.  And a .360 on base % career to date.

Third, Savannah is brutal in terms of hitting the long ball.  I understand it is ranked the worst.   If he is not banging a bunch of long balls in 2016, when he’ll turn 21 mid-season, I’ll start to worry.

Let's bring two players to mind when considering Smith's single homer 2014 and how it might project going forward.  Cesar Puello hit a single homer in his full season in Savannah in 2010 at age 19, and hit 16 in 91 games in Binghamton in 2013.  And Ike Davis took over 300 at bats to record his first pro dinger, and he was a few years older to boot.  His power picked up a tad after that.

Back to Smith. I would not be surprised to see Smitty hit .300 in St Lucie with 10-15 HRs and a bunch of doubles in 2015.  I'd see him with similar average and 15-20 homers in 2016 in AA, .300 with 20-25 homers in AAA in 2017 and a late season call up to Citi in 2017.  In the meantime, Duda and/or Michael Cuddyer (or even Jayce Boyd, were Duda to get hurt) will hold down the fort pending Smith's debut. 

Smith’s glove has already been referenced by many as being elite at 1B.  He may well be a Met starting 1B for years once he arrives.  Give him time, and enjoy the ride, folks.

So that is pick # 4, and Vol. 4.  Who will be # 5?  Watch out for my next article.


eraff said...

I hate evaluating lower level guys on production...and Smith is a mixed bag for such a young guy.

High Draft Pedigree, and they're pushing him fast. He's competing...surviving in a full season league 3-4 years older than himself. He has a good mix of contact and selection.

You don't see great power in the games...you here that it's "in there somewhere". He has almost ZERO Position Flex based on his speed. He has an UNDERWHELMING Body, physically.

So...is he/was he just a more advanced hitter than the other 17/18 year olds when he was drafted, or is there a foundation for development there?

I don't look for HR's--- the Fla. State league is tough---he'll now face college pitchers of top quality and experience....and he'll still be an underclassman age wise.

Look for "competing" with consisten contact and selection---k's/bb's... and you'd need to see some doubles and a spray chart that shows some "turn" on some balls.

Finally...he should eat a salad...hit the Gym---it'll help him hit the Baseball.

James Preller said...

Good write-up, Thomas.

I'm not a believer yet, but nor am I a disbeliever.

In general, I just don't fall in love with these hitters until they do something special at St. Lucie.

I wasn't crazy about the 1 HR, frankly; but, okay, I get it -- he's a contact/line drive guy, and power develops late -- I'm willing to wait.

Thomas Brennan said...

James, I agree totally with you, which is why I split my prospects into 2 lists. Likely all 10 on the lower minors list will do well going forward - but as Eraff noted, the degree of competitive difficulty goes up.

It will be an interesting 2015.

And Eraff, your comments on him needing to eat more salad and shape up - if he needs to do that, this is the offseason to come in honed and ready. because I believe 1B Jayce Boyd is poised for a huge year after hitting nearly .360 with a .450 on base in his last 2 months in AA in 2014, so Smith needs to really step it up or be left behind.

eraff said...

Boyd has nothing to do with Smith at this time frame...they're completely out of each others' way for at least a year or two.

Future decisions?.... that's different

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