Dominic Smith (BARON)

Dominic Smith’s goal is to win a championship for the Mets & their fans

According to MiLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith is the second-best first baseman in the minor leagues.

Smith, who was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2013 draft, played just 51 games in his first professional season, but hit .301 with a .398 OBP and a .837 OPS.

“He looks like the total package at first base, combining solid athleticism and defense with a sweet left-handed swing,” Mayo said of the 18 year old.

Smith could skip Brooklyn and start his first full season in Low-A Savannah, the organization recently said in an online chat about the farm system.

Recently, MetsBlog’s Michael Baron had a chance to speak with Smith, during which they discussed his transition to professional baseball, his experience at this year’s offseason training camp in Michigan, and handling fans and media:


Michael Baron: You’ve made quite an impression on talent evaluators, despite having such limited professional experience. Some have already described you as the best first base prospect in the game. How are you able to keep things in perspective and mute that noise?

Dominic Smith: I don’t really pay attention to that stuff, to be honest. I just work as hard as I can to get better everyday. My goal is to make it to the big leagues and bring home a world championship to the New York Mets and their fans. I’m making strides everyday to work hard and accomplish that goal.

Baron: Discuss your transition from high school to pro ball. What are the immediate differences and challenges you noticed in the Gulf Coast League last year?

Smith: The competition is much better than high school, even in rookie ball, which is the lowest level of the minor leagues. That required quite an adjustment, but the grind of playing everyday was tough as well and something I definitely had to adjust to.

Baron: How did you learn to manage that fatigue from the longer season and playing day games under the hot sun in Florida?

Smith: It was all about being mentally strong and being sure to get the proper rest I needed. Those were the keys to helping me manage the elements.

Baron: Can you describe what went on at the fitness camp in Michigan, with Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares and others? What were the goals and what was the take away from the experience?

Smith: Attending that nutrition camp at Barwis taught me how to properly train and diet in order to maximize my offseason workouts and prepare for the challenges of a long season, which we discussed earlier. I stayed focused on what I learned so that I can be successful in 2014. I learned how to properly train my body. While training with the pros and players at the big-league level, I learned what to expect as I advance through the minor league system.

Baron: Do you model your swing after anyone in particular?

Dominic Smith first day Citi FieldSmith: Being a student of the game, I studied several successful hitters and took bits and pieces from them and created something of my own. I wouldn’t say I mimicked anyone directly, but I certainly learned and followed some of the best from watching games as I was growing up.

Baron: What are your current strengths and weaknesses, in terms of pitch recognition?

Smith: I can hit a fastball. I need to learn how to recognize good change-ups better, and lay off of them when they’re outside of my hitting zone.

Baron: Do you feel comfortable facing left-handed pitching?

Smith: Absolutely.

Baron: Looking ahead to 2014, how do you take your experiences and lessons learned from your first professional season in 2013 and productively apply that to 2014, wherever you land?

Smith: The grind of playing everyday was my biggest challenge last year. However, I feel I’ve prepared myself more for this upcoming season thanks to my offseason workouts in Michigan and working both with the premier training staff at Barwis and players in the big leagues.

Baron: Defense is important, especially at Citi Field, discuss your strengths and what it is you need to work on.

Smith: I take pride in my defense more than my offense. Right now, it’s important I improve my footwork around the bag, and something I intend to focus on this season.

Baron: You’ve embraced Twitter and Instagram. You appear to have a very good handle on how to manage those platforms, and you do a great job reaching out to your followers. We’ve also learned about you and your family through those mediums.

Smith: I definitely love my fans, and recognize how important they are to me and the game. I try to keep them updated on what I’m doing and how my family is as well. They appreciate me and it’s my way of returning the favor. You can follow me on Twitter, @therealsmith22 and on Instagram, dominicsmith22.




92 comments
flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Sweet!  I guess I can look forward to the 2018 season.

Chad Michael
Chad Michael

The Mets really need this kid to pan out. We haven't had a star position play come up from the minors since Wright and Reyes. With all the pitching coming up the Mets will have a great pitching staff. Now we need to generate offense and it seems harder to do with the free agent market or even trades.

Bryan McEntee
Bryan McEntee

When you draft a player like Nimmo, who never even played baseball in high school, and pass on the likes of Michael Wacha and Jose Fernandez, I can't give Sandy the benefit of the doubt with this pick.

eric88
eric88

Poor kid, he obviously is unfamiliar with the Wilpons, oh to be young and think everything is on the up and up. Sadly, he will never experience a Championship if he remains a Met. Perhaps watching Wright retire without a ring will cause him to bolt at his 1st opportunity and win elsewhere.

hankypanky
hankypanky

Why all the angry exchanges about this story? Everyone knows that predicting success for a baseball pick is the most difficult guess in all of sports. Take the story for what it is worth: a fun tale during the winter doldrums.

Paul Que
Paul Que

lol is he supposed to say anything else???

Which One's Pink
Which One's Pink

Wow/  People are now getting giddy about a guy in low A ball.  Pretty sad.  Grasping at straws would be giving it too much credit.  Most "stars" in Triple A don't amount to a hill of beans.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

It's going to be so much fun watching this guy develop before he gets to The Show.

Lex Meagher
Lex Meagher

Can’t wait for this guy. The similarities with the Straw are undeniable. Let’s hope it continues. 


Frank Tangorra
Frank Tangorra

This kid was the best hitter in the draft. I love his cockiness. It's shows that he is determined to make it to the ML. He can be a AA by the end of the season if everything works out.

xplr
xplr

Let's get real. He hasn't starred in AAA or even AA. He hasn't even played in low or high A. Forgive me, but wake me up in two years if this kid is still playing. Here's a hint from basketball: Virtually every pro player was a star in HS and/or college. However, the vast majority never even get to the NBA, let alone start or become all stars. Just take a look at all the first round draft picks in the majors in the last 5 years and see how many became stars.

Metsjets76
Metsjets76

I remember when he got drafted a scout said he was the most impressive interview he ever conducted with a kid. I think this kid has the mental portion down. I'm very excited

yankeehater
yankeehater

He "could" skip Brooklyn? If this kid is not playing full-season ball this year then the mets upper management should all be shot. If he is as talented as we are being told, then he needs to be on the ML club by 2016. Screw this coddling nonsense...if he's a player then get him up. Brooklyn....give me a break.

Metsopotamia
Metsopotamia

I really don't want to be the guy that rains on parades, I really don't. I want to have the same optimism most of you have I really do. Further more I would love for all of you to be right and he turns out to be one heck of a ball player that does indeed help our beloved Mets to win a championship. But he's a long way from that. I too loved what he had to say. Even the way he said it. Its nice to hear a player say such positive things from the heart that seem really genuine. However he is still very fresh and inexperienced. I am not saying he won't be a good player, he very well could be, and I hope he is and then some. Just saying none of us know if he will or not yet. 

I know every team tends to over hype its prospects, but we all have to be patient and realistic. Every prospect the Mets have will not be great, even if they are great in the minors. We have seen it before and we will see it again. If every prospect was as good as they were supposed to be than every team would have an all star team cause they all draft or acquire "prospects".  Some will make it. A few will make it big time and be stars, some will make it but are not as good as originally scouted, some fizzle out quick and sadly many do not make it at all.  All I am saying is just keep in mind every prospect will not be as good as we all want them to be. Our system is so much better than it was and I would rather have all these options and names than not. But lets face it some of these players will not be as good as they could be its just a fact of the game.

tommets
tommets

I am very excited to see him in hopefully 2-3 years. Once we sign a legitimate SS an infield of Wright, SS, Murphy or Flores, and Smith sounds pretty good. 

hrvwlzthor
hrvwlzthor

See this is exactly why I don't understand when people criticize Sandy so much. If we had signed Bourne and overpayed for him we wouldn't have this kid. Who would you rather have right now Bourne or this kid who's the 2nd best 1b in minors?

David Roth
David Roth

@Chad Michael  Agreed - if this whole thing is going to come together, we need a bona fide offensive talent to emerge from our farm system.  

Chad Michael
Chad Michael

So because he picked Nimmo over those two it means Smith won't be any good? Yep that reasoning makes sense.

Ken Ralston
Ken Ralston

Your 20/20 hindsight is flawless. How are you not an MLB exec

zoddie
zoddie

Why are you here?

Ken Ralston
Ken Ralston

@matthewcerrone @TheRealSmith22 @michaelgbaron  good job moderating boys. U type the word diss-cuss and its deleted in 8 seconds but if u harrass a guy and call him d1ckhead over and over, lets give that commenter a gold star. 

shmuggy
shmuggy

@Which One's Pink So, its not the right time to look forward to a promising player??


Okay, got it.......we'll just wait for you and ifti99 to tell us when.





yankeehater
yankeehater

@Lex Meagher Straw was a once in a generation talent. He was is own worst enemy. Very few hitters should ever be compared to Straw.

xplr
xplr

@Lex Meagher  Yeah, and I still remember Generation K. Don't hold your breath waiting for guys in rookie league. I'll bet you $1000 right now this guy never gets 100 hits for the Mets. In fact, I doubt he will even play for them, Way way too much can happen. At best, he will be ready by 2018 and that assumes he doesn't stumble, get injured, fail to hit at each succeeding level, etc etc. 


I love the Mets but if you're going to get excited about prospects, save it for guys like Montero and Syndagaard. 

Zach Ripple
Zach Ripple

@ifti99  Here I'll help you out:


So you're saying last 5 years? OK, so let's do that. Let's factor in that baseball usually takes SEVERAL seasons to break into the Majors, especially for high school talents. So let's use the draft from five years ago, assuming a five-year period is enough to judge which guys will make it in the MLB (to be fair, I don't think you can say whether these guys will go on to have Hall-of-Fame careers, or All-Star careers, or average ones, or decent ones, or whatnot, but I'll play along). So let's go down the list of first-round picks from the 2009 MLB Draft. I've marked the MLB standouts with a plus, the average MLB guys with a /, and the guys not to really cement themselves yet with a -. Guys yet to log any significant MLB time or none at all are blank:


1. Stephen Strasburg +

2. Dustin Ackley /

3. Donavan Tate

4. Tony Sanchez -

5. Matt Hobgood

6. Zack Wheeler +

7. Mike Minor +

8. Mike Leake +

9. Jacob Turner /

10. Drew Storen +

11. Tyler Matzek

12. Aaron Crow +

13. Grant Green -

14. Matt Purke (didn't sign)

15. Alex White -

16. Bobby Borchering

17. A. J. Pollock /

18. Chad James 

19. Shelby Miller +

20. Chad Jenkins /

21. Jiovanni Mier

22. Kyle Gibson -

23. Jared Mitchell 

24. Randal Grichuk

25. Mike Trout +

26. Eric Arnett

27. Nick Franklin -

28. Reymond Fuentes -

29. Slade Heathcott

30. LeVon Washington (didn't sign)

31. Brett Jackson -

32. Tim Wheeler


That's 8 standout names, 4 guys with solid showings to date, and 7 others who have logged significant time in the bigs but have yet to have a major impact. Take it for what you will, but that's a 25 percent rate of becoming a big-time MLB player (of varying excellence) and a 60 percent rate of cracking the big leagues in just five years after being drafted. Those rates are even greater when you factor in that two 1st-round picks didn't sign. And just look at the guys taken in the compensation pick round of 17 total picks. These are the guys who have already made it to the bigs, most of whom have had significant success or are big-time prospects about to do so:


Rex Brothers, Matt Davidson, James Paxton, Josh Phegley, Tyler Skaggs, Chris Owings, Garrett Richards, Brad Boxberger, Tanner Scheppers and Vic Black. That's a whopping 10 high-end talents of the 17. Combine the entire field of 49, that's about a 60 percent rate. 


I understand that your criticism will likely point to a pitching heavy draft, but they're still all first-rounders. Five years also isn't a ton of time, as I'm pretty sure none of these guys are older than about 25-26 at the oldest, with a good amount of guys from high school still only 22-23. I'm pretty sure my point here is made. The numbers speak for themselves. Most of the guys named aren't even fringe big leaguers. They are legitimate pieces of a lot of MLB clubs. 

Cliff Olander
Cliff Olander

Darryl Strawberry was touted as a cant miss when he was drafted at the same age in 1980 & he was playing in the majors by 1983 and hit 26 hr's followed by 26 more in 84', 27, 29, & 39. Your whole conclusion holds zero merit & its idiotic to compare the NBA to MLB its apples and oranges.. You son are an idiot!

xplr
xplr

@Metsjets76 Excited about what? A few games in rookie league? Seriously?

Gland1
Gland1

@Metsopotamia  "I really don't want to be the guy that rains on parades"


If that was really the case you wouldn't have bothered with the rest of your post.

Dan Waters
Dan Waters

If you want to be optimistic then be so. A minor leaguer has an interview and you put a negative spin on it by pointlessly telling us that not all minor leaguers make it. The majority of people are aware not all minor leaguers pan out at the major league level so why the long winded post about it? You are what you chose to be so chose not to be so negative!

xplr
xplr

@hrvwlzthor  Bourne in a freaking heartbeat. It's not even close. 

Frank Tangorra
Frank Tangorra

Totally agree. Every one was watching who Sandy was going to draft. Bourne was a move that I'm glad now they didn't make.

tommets
tommets

@hrvwlzthor  This kid for multiple reasons. 1) Because of the talent we now have on our hands. 2) Lagares would've never been called up. I am very happy that he wasn't signed. 

ac0814
ac0814

You couldn't be more wrong. There is a lot to get excited about when it comes to Dom Smith. He's got the makeup and ability. Will he put it all together? Who knows. But your predictions are extremely pessimistic. Also, it's possible he will start in A ball this year. If he splits the year between A- and A+ and 2015 between AA and AAA, he could reach the bigs by 2016 AT BEST.

Bryan McEntee
Bryan McEntee

@Zach Ripple @ifti99Go back to 1965 and look at every pick the Mets have taken in the first round. Here's a hint. In 50 years, only 5 picks have worked out. Matlock, Mazzelli Doc, Daryl, and Harvey, and I'm spotting you Harvey. That's 1 every decade on average.

Metsjets76
Metsjets76

I'm excited that this kid has good mental makeup, you have probally never played ball before but the mental part of the game is a huge aspect. Don't be such a troll.

Metsopotamia
Metsopotamia

@Gland1 @Metsopotamia Sorry if people cant handle the truth. You guys can all wave the poms poms all you want, I will stay in reality. I wish I didnt have to post this at all but some of you on here were way over doing it. And I said in my post that I hope everyone is right. Be optimistic but keep in reality, until it happens thats all. If some of you cant handle that, than I am sorry. Its a game that is played in the real world, not a video game. You also didnt have to bother reading my post and commenting, but you did.

Metsopotamia
Metsopotamia

@Dan Waters Majority of people should be aware, but if you read the comments from this post and most from this blog as a whole, you would think that many in fact believe every prospect the Mets have coming up will not only make it but be great and start each position of the All Star Game. As for this interview, if you read what I wrote I complemented Smith on what he said but again I say read the other comments. Some have him being in AAA buy before this year is over, others cant wait to see him cause he is special after not even seeing him take a swing yet. All I was saying was temper the enthusiasm a bit, at least lets see him play at a higher level before we anoint him the next super star. People are entitled to any opinion they want, just as I have the opinion to think people should be a little more patient thats all. 

 I tend to believe until I see it. As for being negative, the Mets as an organization made me this way. I would love to go into every season thinking the Mets have a chance to win it all, then to see my optimism turn very quickly. Maybe its cause they haven't won a ring in almost 28 years and the last 6 seasons have all been putrid. Then a bright spot named Harvey bursts on the scene and things are looking up, and then he hurts himself and is out for all of 2014. So excuse me if I am still a bit negative. Until they give me something to in fact be positive about I will be this way until proven otherwise


Hopefully this wasn't too long winded for you

strake
strake

We have Bourne, he's called Eric Young. For 44 mill less.

zoddie
zoddie

@Bryan McEntee @Zach Ripple@ifti99 That's not accurate.  Even going back the last 30 years, you're missing Gregg Jeffries, Jeromy Burnitz, Bobby Jones, Jay Payton, and Scott Kazmir.  If you're feeling generous, Preston Wilson, Big Pelf, Terrance Long, and even Ike Davis were players that contributed at the big league level.

metfan9876
metfan9876

Michael Fulmer will only be 21 next year and start the season in A+ and should see time in AA as long as he is healthy. It's kind of unfair to call him a bust already. He may very well be one, but it's still a little early to decide.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

The first 15 or 20 guys of each draft have a pretty good hit rate and they seem to be getting better lately. Nothing is ever certain, but the more lotto tickets you have with a higher probability the better your chances.

Metsopotamia
Metsopotamia

@The Feels @Gland1@Metsopotamia probably the dumbest thing I have ever heard on here. If you are calling me a racist cause people are over valuing prospects that havent done anything yet and are ready to put him in the Mets hall of fame for having a good interview and saying nice things, its not racism here its foolishness. I do not care what color or ethnicity a player is, I just want them to be good and win. I hope this guy is great, but lets let him get there first! cause if you are a real Mets fan, you know things dont always work out for us, do you want me to bring up the list of players who were supposed to be good but didnt pan out, of all races. Please never respond on here again cause you do not know what you are talking about its actually sad that you would say that