The New York Mets selected Dominic Smith with the 11th overall pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Smith, 17-years-old, out of Junipero Serra High School, is a left-handed hitting first baseman.
“This is a great honor and opportunity,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to get out there. It’s an incredible team. David Wright is a Hall of Fame-potential player and Matt Harvey is a great young guy.”
“I can’t wait to put on my Mets uniform and get out there and play,” Smith said on a conference call.
Smith is listed at 6′ 1″ and 205 lbs. He will turn 18 next week, on June 15.
“We’re thrilled that we were able to select Dominic tonight,” Paul DePodesta, the Mets VP of Player Development & Amateur Scouting said. “He’s a guy we have followed since last summer. Our area scout has known him since he 12-years-old. We think we have a very good all-around player, a plus hitter with plus power.”
“We felt that, going back to last spring into summer, this is one of the most advanced high school hitters you could find,” Tommy Tanous, the Mets Director of Amateur Scouting said.
Tanous said that Smith had seen some time in the outfield, but the team sees him as a first baseman.
“He’s a special defender at first base,” Tanous said. “We think that’s one of his pluses.”
Last season, Smith hit .493 (33-67) with seven home runs and 38 RBI in 27 games for his high school team. He was named a 2013 Rawlings preseason All-American after hitting .551 with nine home runs and 49 RBI in 25 games as a junior in high school in 2012.
Smith will be represented by MVP Sports. If the Mets do not sign him, he is committed to attend University of Southern California.
For more on Smith, read SNY’s Mets Minor League Blog.
In Toby Hyde’s preview of the Mets draft, this is what he wrote about Smith:
In his last mock draft, Keith Law had the Mets passing on Peterson, Frazier and Renfroe to grab this Southern California HS first baseman. Smith stands 6’0″ and 195 at the moment.
Law: Smith is one of the best pure hitters in the high school class, showing a smooth left-handed swing with power and a plus glove at first base. When he keeps his weight back, his swing is outstanding, with great balance through contact and good hip rotation to generate power from his legs. He has quick, strong wrists, with a projectable body that should lead to very hard contact when he fills out in three or four years.
BA: He has an innate feel for his barrel, a relaxed approach and a pretty lefthanded stroke, causing most scouts to project him as a plus hitter in the big leagues. He still wastes at-bats and chases at times, and he can get caught on his front foot, but he has the bat speed and hand-eye coordination to get away with it at this level, and he has the aptitude to make adjustments. As he spends more time in the weight room and learns to stay back and use his lower half better, he figures to hit for plus power.
Both Law and BA think he can be a plus defender at first.
Why Smith Makes Sense: He might one day combine Peterson’s hit tool with power with plus defense.
Why Smith does not make sense: The profile for a HS 1B is really, really hard. How many elite 1B are there at 6’0″? How will his body fill out? What if the power never comes (Hi, Daric Barton!). This is a big bet on a bat and a bat only.