Mets rookie 1B Dominic Smith had two hits, including his second home run in two days, in Thursday's 14-6 loss to the Cubs.
Smith, 22, has a .298/.365/.617 batting line with three doubles, four home runs and 11 RBIs in 11 games in September after he ended August in a 7-for-50 slump with only three extra-base hits.
"My whole career I've always started slow, so it didn't bother me," Smith recently said, according to the Bergen Record. "I'm good enough to play at this level, I know I belong, and if I continue to stick to the process and stick to my approach of hitting the ball hard, things will continue to turn around."
Smith had just a .160 batting average on balls he put in play during his August slump. However, during his September turnaround, he's batting .370 on balls in play.
"I had been hitting the ball hard, but right at people," Smith acknowledged earlier in the week. "It finally feels nice to find a couple of holes."
After Amed Rosario was promoted after the trade deadline, Smith was considered the organization's top prospect in the minors and among the top first base prospects in baseball. The Mets recalled Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas after they traded veteran Lucas Duda to the Rays.
Aug 20, 2017; Smith (22) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Since joining the Mets on Aug. 10, he has started 28 of out of 33 games at first base.
"It's not often when young guys can walk into a situation where there is no pressure on how they have to perform," Smith added. "For me to be in this situation where it's more about my development than my performance, it's awesome. I get to learn every day and not be worried or stressed out. Take every at-bat for what it is and gain knowledge and experience and take it all with me into next year."
Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com: In his first three weeks in the majors, Smith offered little to get excited about ... He struggled to elevate the ball, which resulted in an inflated number of double plays and suppressed any semblance of power. In an admittedly small sample, he has looked like an entirely different player in the month of September...
His strikeout rate has increased, but it's gone hand-in-hand with a better walk rate as well as harder contact. He's backing away somewhat from his all-fields approach, but if it results in more doubles and home runs, it's a net positive for his offensive production. Smith is not out of the woods yet, but the strides he's made this month are huge >> Read more...