Fully maxed six-foot frame; has added weight through his mid-section since high school; no longer chiseled; broad shoulders/upper half; high-maintenance body going forward; will need to monitor any further weight gain.
4/10/14-4/12/14; 8/19/14; 8/21/14
(Low A, )
Doesn't outwardly display a ton of effort; demeanor and body language come off as low energy, but player is confident in his abilities and laid back by nature; didn't respond well to failure — slammed helmet on the field and showed up the umpire on multiple occasions; seems to have confidence in his knowledge of the strike zone and struggles to adjust his approach when an umpire's zone is slightly different; hesitant to throw a bad makeup label on the player due to amateur sources citing his strong character and his reputation both off the field and as a good teammate; only 19, Smith has plenty of time to further develop his on-the-field professionalism.
50; second-division regular
Mechanics: Very handsy, loose stroke with a quick trigger into the zone; begins slightly open with hands at letters with a small loading mechanism; keeps swing short/compact; moderate leg lift; front leg will occasionally get down too early and hips will occasionally slide, leading to weak contact due to being out in front; will need to learn how to keep his weight back/loaded in order to fully utilize his powerful lower half in his swing; lower-half actions have changed since the beginning of the season when he utilized a toe-tap timing mechanism; has cleaned up his direction of energy and is more up the middle instead of pulling off as a result; linear swing plane through the zone with a one-handed finish; bat control and ability to get barrel to ball consistently in all quadrants of the zone bodes well for future hitting ability.
Approach: Great knowledge of the zone; all-fields approach; will offer at fastballs around the zone early in at-bats; aggressive approach early in counts often leads to weak contact; needs to learn to wait for his pitch and drive it rather than merely settle for weak opposite-field contact on non-optimal pitches; solid eye at the plate and knowledge of the zone should lead to plenty of walks at the highest level; more stringent approach on pitches in the zone should lead to more hard contact; potential to hit .280-.300 at the highest level.
Flashes above-average raw power in BP; linear swing path lacks much lift at present, leading to abundant topspin in games; whip-like bat speed through the zone; player shows ability to get the barrel to the baseball on a consistent basis, but a lack of leverage, an out-of-sync lower half, and a contact-heavy approach limits the over-the-fence pop at present; thick/strong lower half bodes well for potential power output in theory; needs plenty of mechanical adjustments and approach alterations, but player flashes the necessary ingredients to accumulate average power production in the form of doubles and mid-teens home run output.
Well below-average runner at present; 4.4 seconds on a dig to first base; short, choppy strides; poor acceleration; speed will continue to diminish as the body thickens; typically a station-to-station runner on the basepaths; will take a free base when a pitcher ignores him; instincts on the bases will help his speed play up some but player will never be a threat to opposing pitchers/fielders on the bases.
Plus defense at first base; overall footwork is still developing but shows skills around the bag with good flexibility; soft hands when receiving throws and fielding ground balls; lateral actions are quick-twitch relative to other first basemen, leading to impressive range; instills confidence in his infielders to make the necessary throws.
Plus arm strength from a slightly lower slot; throws stay on a line across the diamond on throws to third with a slight bit of tail; weapon on the double play turn or across the infield; utility of tool will be limited at first base.
Dominic Smith is a hit-first first baseman who projects to add some power down the line while playing plus defense at first base, leading to a ceiling of an average everyday first baseman at the highest level. The natural hitting chops are impressive, sporting a short, compact swing with an innate ability to get the barrel to the ball. The lower half is out of sync at present, causing him to be out in front of pitches far too often and sapping any sort of power in the swing. The first-base profile requires Smith to hit for power at the highest level, and in order to do this, Smith will need to clean up his lower half and learn how to keep his weight back and properly leverage balls. The 19-year-old should be able to do this in time with plenty of work, and mixed with the preternatural barrel skills, Smith should accumulate average power production and should be able to post slugging averages in the .420-.440 range despite mid-teens home run power due to plenty of doubles to all fields. Smith also shows the ability to be an asset in the field, displaying plus defense with a plus arm at first base. He will need to monitor his body as he climbs the ladder to make sure his range and flexibility aren't diminished, as he's already a well-below-average runner.
Smith's raw OFP averages to 52, but a slight upward adjustment to 55 is awarded due to a projected plus hit tool, which will be an equalizer at the highest level and will play even if the projected power never materializes. The ceiling is that of an average everyday first baseman, and if the power never comes along, Smith will become more of a second-division regular at the highest level. One must dream on the power in order to envisage a 50 on the tool, so the risk level remains high.