Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith will start at first base and make his big-league debut when the Mets play the Phillies tonight at Citizens Bank Park, GM Sandy Alderson announced Thursday.
Smith, 22, had been hitting .330 with 16 home runs, 34 doubles, two triples, and 76 RBIs in 114 games for Triple-A Las Vegas this season. He was recently named his Triple-A league's Player of the Month for July, during which he hit .385 (42-for-109) and led the Pacific Coast League with 28 runs scored, while ranking second in extra-base hits (21), total bases (79) and OPS (1.162).
"Smith continues to show outstanding defensive ability at first, with very good footwork and excellent hands," MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo wrote earlier this season. "With his run-producing ability showing up more consistently, he is looking more and more like the everyday first baseman the Mets saw when they drafted him."
Smith's former Triple-A teammate, Amed Rosario, joined the Mets in late July and has since hit just .161 with two triples and a stolen base in nine games starting at shortstop.
Rosario recently told the NY Post that Smith is a "tremendous hitter" with power to the opposite field and is a terrific fielding first baseman.
"He's saved me a lot of times," Rosario added. "He's a great teammate, tremendous person."
MLB.com, ESPN.com's Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus all recently ranked Smith as the best, young first base prospect in baseball.
"He is an extraordinarily disciplined, calm hitter, showing an advanced two-strike approach and willingness to use the whole field," Law said.
It was 14 years ago that we watched with anticipation as the Mets promoted the highly rated, aggressive, speedy and charismatic Jose Reyes. The next year, Reyes was joined by the quiet, mild-mannered, smooth and sound David Wright. The Mets have a similar dynamic about to hit the stage this August with Rosario and Smith.
I know Smith to be a calm and collected, fundamentally sound, true blue professional baseball player who has no problem being honest and making himself available to reporters. He is also laid back, but has a dash of swagger. He has significantly more showmanship and flare than David, but nearly not as much as Reyes and Rosario. Also, like Wright, according to Smith's high school coach Wil Aaron, Smith has leadership in his DNA. >> Read more