Dominic Smith New York Mets
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After harsh criticism, New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith has taken successful strides towards better conditioning for 2018.

The Dom Smith experiment at first base towards the end of the 2017 season did not exactly go as planned.

The 22-year-old slashed a putrid .198/.262/.395 in his 49 game debut. Even though he was able to produce nine home runs in just 167 ABs, not much else went right.

Beyond the hitting statistics, Smith looked out of shape and limited in the field. These observations were also made by the front office.

A player never wants to be critiqued for their conditioning, and Smith is no different. It seems like the young lefty has used Alderson’s comments as motivation.

Not only is he looking slimmer, losing a dozen pounds is a great start for a player who is on the hot seat to produce in 2018.

There are no direct lines that can be drawn between a player’s weight and his productivity on the diamond. Prince Fielder played at upwards of 275 pounds for the better part of his career.

That did not stop him from earning six all-star selections.

We’ll never be able to know if Smith’s added weight affected his play drastically. For all we know, he could have struggled in his first stint against major league pitching.

Or maybe it was the 153 games played and 683 plate appearances he was exposed to in 2017 across the major league and Triple-A levels, which were both career highs.

With his sights set on maintaining his job in 2018, Smith will continue to be on top of his diet and weight.

He understands the importance of this offseason and the gravity of the situation. In the end, it seems like his weight issue may be an overblown headline. Then again, it never hurts to be in pristine shape when you are a professional athlete.

I am a Senior currently attending the Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick. I am a lifelong New York Mets fan, and writing about the team is my passion.