Every spring at 213 we gather a whole bunch of projections for players and average them together to see what a conglomerate of baseball sources think a given player will perform over the year. It’s wholly unscientific – averaging averages and not weighting them for previous accuracy or amount of playing time they feel a player will see.
Dominic Smith had one of the best stories on the 2019 Mets. Had a great spring training, had a strong season when he had a chance to play, got hurt, got a scooter that he took on the field, worked back from his injury, hit a walk-off to end the season. He got squeezed out of first base last year, and that wasn’t a surprise, and played well enough to warrant his name in trade rumors. When we were looking at his projections last year, we were confused where he would fit with Frazier and Lowrie (lol) and Dom made it work taking on the outfielder. Here were his projections and his results:
2019 Stats: 197 PA, 177 AB, 11 HR, .282/.355/.525, .881 OPS, 0.7 WAR, 112 DRC+
Dom Smith crushing his projections is summed up int eh difference between his projected and actual DRC+. He was projected to be 13% worse than the average hitter. He finished 12% better than the average MLB hitter.
He smashed projections across the board. The only projection that was close was ZiPS with the highest projected OBP and correctly projected WAR (but in 350 more ABs).
Computers will probably struggle with Smith again next year. It makes the most sense to play him in the outfield, but he’s still the odd man out in that group. Right now he’s a depth piece but is being a depth piece hurting his development? If there’s a player who could still be moved this off season, unfortunately, we think it’s him.