St. Lucie Mets first baseman Dominic Smith has been named the Florida State League Player of the Week for the week of May 25-31. Smith, who the Mets drafted 11th overall in the 2013 amateur draft, hit .400 with ten RBI in six games last week. He is currently riding a 13-game hitting streak and has become one of the hottest hitters in the High-A Florida State League.
This recent success comes in spite of a very rough first month of the season for Smith. In his first 17 games for the Mets, he batted just .143 with a .194 on-base percentage, while collecting just three RBI. Since then, he has looked every bit like the slugger the Mets thought he had the potential to be. He has raised his batting average by nearly 120 points, while driving in 21 runs in his last 21 games.
Smith’s recent output is very good news, as he appeared to be trending downward coming into this season. Before 2014, Baseball America named Smith the 92nd best prospect in all of baseball and the fourth-best Mets prospect behind just Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, and Rafael Montero. But after a somewhat disappointing season in Single-A Savannah ball last year, Smith found himself off of both of these lists before the start of the year. He ranked eleventh in the Mets' system on Amazin' Avenue's top twenty-five Mets prospects for 2015. At the time, Greg Karm wrote:
Dom Smith struggled for the most part in 2014. While his strikeout and walk numbers were promising given his age and level of competition, the complete lack of power was concerning especially since Smith is limited to first base. Watching him in games, it was apparent how out in front he was on pretty much everything, leading to lots of weak contact which goes a long way to explaining the relatively low strikeout rate and complete lack of power. The other thing you noticed watching Smith was the extra weight he was carrying around, a worrying sign given it was present very early in the season. A report from Baseball America said that Smith had already shed the excess weight, and if he can put together an offseason similar to the one Brandon Nimmo had last season we could be having a different conversation at the end of the 2015 season. I expect Smith to start the season in St. Lucie and hope to see him begin to develop the power he'll need as a first-base-only prospect.
This season, Smith has once again shown potential to be a middle-of-the-order hitter. Should he continue to keep playing like he has over the past few weeks, he could be back on both of these lists when they come out again this winter. At just 19 years old, Smith has a long way to go before he is even a consideration for the major leagues, or even the higher levels of the minor leagues.