A 6’-0” left-hander out of Serra HS in Gardena, California, Dominic Smith was considered the best pure hitter available in the 2013 MLB draft by many.
As one of my favorite players last year, I actually had him going to the Mets in my last three mock drafts. With excellent bat speed and a great approach at the plate, he hit .551 with a .643 OBP over 105 games in his career, striking out just 21 times over 303 at bats. He posted a silly .805 OBP over his last 11 games as a senior, leading his team to a state title.
The first baseman proved everyone right in his first go-around in pro ball, hitting .301/.398/.439 over 51 games, mostly for the GCL Mets. He got promoted to Kingsport of the Appalachian League late in the year and went 4-for-6 with four doubles and two walks over three games.
Dominic Smith is a kid who should contend for batting titles at the next level and has power still developing. His success in his first season already has some ranking him in the top five among Mets prospects — not too shabby for an 18-year old.
I recently had a chance to bounce some questions off Dominic Smith and would like to thank him for his time.
Take us back to the draft. Can you describe your emotions that night and what is was like putting on that New York Mets jersey?
The day of the draft was very nerve racking. I felt very anxious and excited, but hearing my name called brought me great relief and a ton of joy.
What has been the biggest adjustment to the pro life?
My biggest adjustment to pro ball is playing everyday. Playing everyday takes a major toll on your body — that is something people do not realize.
You ended the season on a tear, hitting .447 over your last 11 games and garnered a Sterling award as one of the Mets top minor league players of the year. Did you put any expectations on yourself entering your first year as a pro?
Yes I did. My expectations for myself is to hit .300+ every season. I’m a first baseman so I’m expected to hit and I welcome the challenge.
What do you plan to work on most during the offseason?
The biggest thing I plan to work on this offseason is to get bigger and stronger to prepare my body for a long season.
Did you splurge on anything big with your signing bonus?
I bought my family a house, which I consider an investment rather than a splurge. It is something my family and I will all benefit from.
I like hearing about baseball players and their superstitions or pre-game rituals. Do you have any superstitions or weird rituals before a game?
I’m not really a superstitious guy, but I do listen to music before every game.
Who was the biggest influence during your first year as a pro?
My mom was a huge influence on my first year in pro ball. She spent most of the summer in Florida supporting me through the ups and downs of my first year.
Coolest person you have met since being drafted.
Meeting Darryl Strawberry at the draft was pretty surreal and amazing.
Do you have a walk up song?
When I got called up to Kingsport, my walk up song was ASAP Rocky “I Come Apart”.
Last question. How do you deal with those long bus rides?
As a few people probably saw on the Mets Bleacher Report, I listen to music until I knockout!
Again, I would like to thank Dominic Smith for his time and you can feel free to follow him and his journey on Twitter @TheRealSmith22
You can also follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2014 MLB draft updates, prospects news and Chicago Cubs ramblings.