Mets 1B Dominic Smith is hitting .297/.395/.595 with two HR and five doubles in 10 games (37 at-bats) this season for Triple-A Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League.
Smith, who began the season on the 10-day DL due to a strained right quad that kept him out for the majority of Spring Training, hit .330/.386/.519 with 16 HR in 114 games last season for Las Vegas before making his big league debut.
With the Mets in 2017, Smith hit .198/.262/.395 with nine HR in 49 games.
The 22-year-old Smith focused on his conditioning during the offseason, losing 30 pounds, but he arrived at Spring Training with no real chance of competing for the first base job with Adrian Gonzalez, as the Mets had promised him the starting role prior to signing him to a minor league deal.
Smith was in the starting lineup for the Mets' first Spring Training game in February, but was benched due to tardiness. Soon after, he suffered the quad injury that sidelined him for most of the spring.
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Offensive stats in the PCL need to be taken with a grain of salt. At the same time, if you're getting on base at a nearly-.400 clip while slugging close to .600, that's going to play in the majors -- even with expected regression.
The concern with Smith after he was drafted was whether his power would develop. He was always viewed as someone who would hit for average and get on base at a good clip, but the power was a question. And while Smith struggled batting average and on-base wise in his small taste of the majors in 2017, the power was there -- as it was while he was in Triple-A.
Throughout his minor league career, Smith had a tendency to start off a level slowly before finding his groove. And there's no reason to think that won't happen at the big league level.
Meanwhile, currently at the big league level, Gonzalez is hitting .222/.326/.333 with one HR and one double in 13 games (36 at-bats). He is 4 for his last 26. Gonzalez's 2017 season ended due to a back injury after he hit .242/.287/.355 in 71 games.
I was never on board with the Gonzalez signing, and ate the necessary crow when he started off the regular season hitting well, including smacking a huge grand slam that helped the Mets sweep the Nats in D.C.. But as I (and many others) said in February and March, the likelihood is that Gonzalez simply isn't a starting-caliber player at this point.
If Smith keeps doing what he's doing in Triple-A while Gonzalez continues to underwhelm, the Mets will have a decision to make.