Dominic Smith Might Be Poised For Great 2022

After Dominic Smith was passed by Pete Alonso on the depth chart, we weren’t quite sure what the future held for him. After all, he was a National League first baseman who was a backup. Well, starting with the 2019 season things got very interesting with Smith.

In 2019, Smith emerged as a clutch pinch hitter. When there was a number of injuries, he forced his way into the outfield. Unfortunately, he proved to be not great out there, and an injury cost him his chance to stay out there for the remainder of that season. Still, he was around for that ride on his scooter.

In the pandemic 2020 shortened season, Smith appeared to be a star in the making. With the implementation of the universal DH, he forced his way to play first base, and he was great. He posted a 166 wRC+, and really, he cemented himself as a fixture in the Mets lineup.

Unfortunately, that didn’t last a full season. For some reason, Dom just didn’t have it in 2022. There were plenty of reasons and excuses. The juiced ball was gone. Playing left field took its wear and tear. He succeeded in 60 as opposed to 162 games. We also recently discovered Smith played last year with a torn labrum. In all likelihood, it’s a mixture of all of these things and more.

That said, while we should not overreact to anything in Spring Training, we saw and heard Smith might be back on track. That was the case with Smith hitting two homers off of Max Scherzer.

It wasn’t just the homers. Certainly, that’s impressive. What was more impressive, and really, more to the point is that Scherzer said Smith hit pitches he had not seen Smith able to hit prior to that particular game. That speaks volumes to Smith not only being healthy, but also to his being ready to start the season ready to get back to the player we thought he was going to be after the 2020 season.

There’s not a universal DH and more opportunities for Smith to play. He’s back to where he was in 2019 where he just has to go out and prove he’s an everyday player. We’ve seen that he is and can be. The Mets would be wise to keep hold of him and have more of these moments for the Mets this season.