Before Pete Alonso broke on to the scene, Dominic Smith was the highly touted first base prospect for the New York Mets. He came into the year as the back up first baseman, but soon found himself in the outfield since his bat was too good to leave on the bench.
— John Flanigan (@jflan816) September 29, 2019
Smith came into the year as the Mets big bat off the bench. He succeeded in the role, hitting .318 off the bench. When Brandon Nimmo landed on the IL, the Mets were in need of outfield depth. Smith pleaded for the opportunity to play left field, but the Mets shut down the idea. When they were desperate for offense they sacrificed defense to make him the everyday left fielder.
The Outfield Experiment
Smith was still learning how to play the outfield, but hit .260 with seven home runs in the 29 games he spent in left field. Some of his mistake included miscommunication errors and throwing behind baserunners who were planning to take the extra base. The experiment did not last for along time because Smith landed on the IL with a stress fracture in his right foot. It sidelined until the final game of the season.
— We Gotta Believe Podcast (Weds, iTunes & Spotify) (@GottaBelievePod) August 10, 2019
While Smith was sidelined, he continued to support the Mets as their biggest fan when they tried to climb back in the race. He was Alonso’s biggest fan and gave us a memorable moment when he charged the field on his scooter after Michael Conforto’s walk-off against the Nationals.
Even if it was to play in one game, Smith wanted to figure out a way to get back on the field. Smith was activated for the last series of the season just as a formality. Little did we all know that he was going to be pressed into duty as a pinch hitter. In his first at bat in two months, he slammed three-run walk-off home run to cap a three game sweep of the Braves to end the season.
After Alonso’s dominant rookie season and J.D. Davis emergence in left field, Smith seems to be the odd man out. If he remained on the roster, he will add depth to the bench, but it will hurt his trade value. There are plenty of teams who could use a power hitting, left handed first baseman. It is hard to see him remaining on the roster since the Mets have so many holes to fill. Smith will be the biggest trade piece the Mets can dangle over teams in the offseason and they are better off moving him instead of storing him on the bench.
Hitting for Average: B, .282 is a very good season for Smith. Could have been higher if he did not try to play through his injury
Hitting for Power: B, .525 slugging percentage in only 177 at-bats made his presence a lot stronger than it seemed. He came through with plenty of big hits in his limited at-bats.
Defense: C-, Below average at left field and first base. First base is surprising, but he had a very limited sample size there. At times looked completely lost in left field.
Speed/Baserunning: D, very slow and average baserunner. Mets were lucky to get a stolen base out of him, but it is not his job to steal bases.
Intangibles: A+, very good character for the clubhouse, did not seem like there was a selfish bone in his body
Overall: B, Smith did not get to much time to showcase his abilities, but made the most of it when he was out there. His prevented him from having a full breakout season.