Height: 6' 0" Weight: 200 lb
Acquired: 2013 Rule IV Draft, 1st Round, Junipero Serra HS (Gardena, CA)
2014: (A) .271/.344/.338, 1 HR, 44 RBI, 2 SB (33%), 51 BB, 77 K
2013: (Rk) .301/.398/.439, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 5 SB (55%), 26 BB, 37 K
As a high schooler, Smith only played in 27 games his senior season. In 2013, he almost doubled that to 51 games with Kingsport and in 2014, he doubled it again to 126 Savannah games. One of the added benefits of Short Season A Ball is that it makes this massive spike in playing time more gradual. Rather than going straight from 50 to 130 games, you make a stop at 75 with a short season club. However, the Mets front office agreed that Smith was too advanced for Brooklyn and sent him to dreaded Grayson stadium where power goes to die.
"He hit only .217 in August!" Your right, he also started slow, hitting only .212 in the month of April. Yet, despite those two horrid months, he still finished the year with a respectable .271 AVG on the year. Once Smith got going he showed scouts just how impressive his bat really is. Utilizing "the smoothest, cleanest left-handed swing in the draft class," according to scouts, Smith hit .305 across the months of May, June, and July. It has been reported that pure physical exhaustion was mostly to blame for his August numbers as he just wore down from the massive spike in playing time.Across the 136 games season, Smith played in 126 of them. The next closest was Pat Biondi with 115 of 136 games played. Surprise, surprise....he also suffered the same fate batting .190 in the month of August.
"He showed no power!" Again....your right, only 1 HR all year long is paltry even for Grayson Stadium standards. However, it's not like he wasn't driving the ball. his 26 doubles were amongst the Top 20 hitters in the SAL in 2014. While the hard data to prove it out isn't tracked in the minors, I bet you this is a case of a HR to FB ratio being way below the league average. Maybe he wasn't strong enough to get it out of the big stadiums, maybe he kept hitting fences. If that's the case, Smith may have already solved it. Dom spent the off-season working out at the Barwis facility and is reported to have gained about 15 lbs of pure muscle. My gut feeling says you are going to be treated to a show this year if you live in Port St. Lucie.
When you look at Dom Smith as a full package, there's not a ton of risk. The only question mark that surrounds him not "will he hit' but "how much power will he develop." This eliminates the AA prospect "wall" but he'll need to tap into the power to become an MLB contributor. No changes to his Ceiling/Floor this time around.
Ceiling: 15-20 HR Solid OBP MLB 1B (Eric Hosmer)
Floor: No power Career AAA 1B.
Anticipated Assignment: (A+) Port St. Lucie starting 1B