New York Mets' Dominic Smith could present future problems for Alderson, staff
Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (74) hits a single off of the right field wall during the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets prospect Dominic Smith just doesn’t project to be an everyday first baseman at the game’s highest level.

If Dominic Smith played anywhere else on the diamond, he’d be the New York Mets‘ top hitting prospect.

Smith, 21, has an affinity for taking balls the opposite way thanks to his patience at the plate and is a surprisingly strong defender. Most importantly, he’s reportedly made strides with his work ethic and lackadaisical attitude.

That being said, there’s just too much downside risk. His approach is “too geared toward the opposite field to tap into any real power,” writes Amazin Avenue. There are also concerns about his ability to handle premium velocity and his sometimes plodding footwork around the bag.

Make no mistake, Smith had an excellent statistical season. He led the Binghamton Mets in home runs and posted an impressive slash line of .302/.367/.457 in the process.

However, he just doesn’t project to be an everyday first baseman at the game’s highest level. His power surge was limited to a three-week span in late-June and early-July. Sure, he’ll probably rake in Las Vegas and convince management to give him a shot in the big leagues.

And, there’s a good chance that he’ll emerge as a solid hitter. But that doesn’t mean that he’ll give the Mets what they’re looking for out of their first baseman. He reminds many of James Loney (in fact, the scouting reports are strikingly similar), which isn’t a good thing (i.e. he’s slow, which means that many ground balls will turn into outs).

The Mets will have a tough decision to make next offseason. Lucas Duda will become a free agent, and unless there’s a trade, the Amazin’s won’t have anyone else locked up.

Smith is going to have to convince management that he can shore up the position, or there’ll be a huge void.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.