One of the best surprises in Spring Training has been Dom Smith. He’s slimmed down, working on his sleep schedule and making solid contact with the ball. In a perfect world, he hits so well that the Mets have a solid reason to delay Pete Alonso‘s arrival to Queens. But with the injuries to Frazier and Lowrie, Alonso’s time may be at the start of the season, which could spell trouble for Smith.
2018: 149 PA, 143 AB, 5 HR, .224/.255/.420, -0.6 WAR, 77 DRC+
Career: .210/.259/.406, 79 DRC+
Dom had an opportunity last year and squandered it. He’s playing right now like he knows he squandered it and has something to prove. The computers think he’ll put up the following in 2019:
(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )
The best projection for him by far is ZiPS. Remember, ZiPS does not try to predict playing time which is going to be the most difficult thing to prodect for Smith this season. ZiPS has him getting on base at a clip about 35 points higher than his career numbers, and in a small sample size in spring training, this is what we have been seeing.
Dom Smith was never going to be a power bat, contact was his game. Now that he’s in much better shape, his better contact could be turning into him reaching base safely more often.
We have always loved and still love Dom Smith here. Hoping this is the season he figures it out!