DOM SMITH SURGE by Tom Brennan
Before I start today's article, my last article asked a question: is Rob Gsellman the right choice to call up?
Answer? Yes, yes, yes, as he bailed gimpy Jon Niese out of a severe mess in a must-win game.
Now, taking a sneak peek at the future, let's gaze upon one Dominic Smith, laboring in AA.
Simply put, Dude is smoking: in August, through Aug. 23, he has in 20 games gone .413/.483/.613. Whoosh!
After a sluggish pace early in the season that had him sitting at .259 in late June, he has revved the sucker up in July and August - in 45 games, .366 with just 23 Ks but with a solid 22 walks, and 11 doubles, 7 homers and a sweet 34 RBIs, boosting him to 85 in 114 games.
He turns 22 next mid-June - maybe he turns starting major league first baseman about the same time. Why not?
Let me muse about a few more higher level bat guys:
Phil Evans, as I noted recently, has astonished folks in AA this year - over 83 games, the 23 year old 3B has hit .333/.371/.490, and has a versatile glove that allows him to man SS, 2B and 3B. He is a chip or a future utility guy, it appears.
Amed Rosario has cooled of late, after being sidelined for a bit with a hammy. But the 20 year old slick SS and future star still rocks at .316/.366/.458 for the year. Would still like to see more homers than the 5 he has hit, but 12 triples offset that deficit.
Looking to AAA, a more likely (if not traded) early season Met in 2017 is Gavin Cecchini. GC has hit .314 in Vegas this year at SS, with a .382 OBP. His average and splits are nearly identical to those he put up in 2015 in Binghamton. His two flaws are a low-side power profile and a proclivity to making errors at SS. 33 errors in 95 games sounds abysmal, but he actually has improved much over his last nearly 40 games, with just 6 errors, so an apparently solidifying defensive game makes him a 2017 Mets candidate.
Brandon Nimmo has proven he can hold his own on a big league field, although his lack of extra base hits while with the Mets for a few weeks is disconcerting. But Nimmo has had his break out year in Vegas, hitting nearly .375 over his last 70 games. He still lacks homer thunder, with just 9 in nearly 400 AAA plate appearances, but progress is progress. .375 over that stretch is major progress. If not traded, he should be a Mets' outfield reserve in 2017.
Michael Conforto - I am convinced we are seeing nothing more than a Soph Jinx. In Vegas, over 27 games, he is hitting a ridiculous .413/.474/.731. Hopefully he gives the Mets a surge in September.
So there is near-term hope in several minor league bats, as evidenced above.