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MLB Rookie Profile: Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets

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With Jay Bruce now in Cleveland, the Mets are calling up first baseman Dominic Smith to the big leagues

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Houston Astros Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Mets traded Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night, it opened up a spot for one of the Mets top prospects to make the big leagues. Yesterday, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the media that first baseman Dominic Smith is going to make his big league debut tonight in Philadelphia against the Phillies:

At Triple-A Las Vegas this season, the 22-year-old left-handed hitter had a slash line of .330/.386/.519 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI’s in 114 games. Smith does have 87 strikeouts this year, which is 13 more than he had all of last year at Double-A Binghamton (130 games).

Before the season began, John had Smith ranked as the number three prospect in the Mets organization. Here is what he had to say about the first baseman in his midseason review:

“Age 22, first round pick in 2013; hitting .337/.391/.526 with 29 doubles, 15 homers, 33 walks, 70 strikeouts in 403 at-bats; is this the long-awaited power surge? Hitting .342/.400/.572 at home, .333/.386/.486 on the road; PCL helps of course; my guess is that he’s made legitimate progress but not as much as the surface slash implies.”

As John points out, it’s tough to go off mainly the stats with Smith because he played in a hitter friendly league. However, he did have a .333 average and an .OPS of .986 over his last 25 games. Plus, the power has played a big part in his game this year. Here’s one of his home runs from last month:

If you look at Smith’s advanced numbers, he’s done a much better job this year of hitting line drives. According to Fangraphs, the line drive percentage went up from 23% last year to 28% this year. Plus, the fly ball percentage dropped from 34% to 26%.

This season, the Mets first round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft has done a good job in the field in addition to his offense. He has just eight errors in 107 games.

Earlier this month, the Mets called up shortstop Amed Rosario and he has played nearly every day. With Bruce in Cleveland and Lucas Duda in Tampa Bay, Smith should see regular time at first base and will get an opportunity to make a good impression on the coaching staff.

It will be a matter of time before we see if Smith’s power can continue at the big league level. However, throughout his time in the minors, he has hit over .300 in each of the last three years and his 34 doubles are the most in the Pacific Coast League.

If you are in Philadelphia this week, it might be a good idea to head out to the ballpark as you can watch both Smith for the Mets and Rhys Hoskins for the Phillies. Hoskins led the International League with 29 home runs.

Since the Mets are out of the postseason picture, it is time for them to see what they have for the future in terms of position players. Yes, they didn’t get enough for Bruce, but that trade opened up a spot to allow Smith the opportunity he needs.