Player: Dominic Smith
Drafted by: New York Mets (No. 11 Overall)
DOB: 6/15/1995 (Age: 17)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/195 lbs
School: Serra HS (Los Angeles, Calif.)
College Commitment: USC
It should tell you how strong Smith's tools are—and how highly regarded he is—that he is a first baseman in professional baseball and a first-round talent. In order to play that position, you have to be able to hit. A lot. Smith can do that, and a lot more.
Committed to USC, Smith is a really good athlete. He has some agility and brings a tremendous arm, though that won't serve him all that well at first base. His natural feel for hitting and quiet, smooth swing immediately grab your attention.
Despite playing the outfield in high school, limited range is the biggest reason he will be moved to first base. Drafting team could try to play him in right field to get maximum value.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Very easy left-handed swing; quick wrists and hands explode through the zone; above-average bat speed with ability to let the ball travel deep before committing; controls bat through the zone very well; advanced feel for hitting; some length to his swing thanks to high leg kick and long stride.
Already flashes plus home run pop; quick wrists help drive the ball over the wall when he pulls it and into the gap going the opposite way; will eventually develop ability to hit the ball over the fence to left-center with experience; will have to shorten swing slightly in pro ball to consistently drive the ball; huge power upside with 30-plus homer potential.
Plate Discipline: 50/60
Bat speed and power allow him to get away with swinging at mistakes; able to work deep counts and draw walks right now, but will have to learn to read advanced pitching; will struggle early with an aggressive assignment; likely to end up as a .360-.380 OBP player at his peak.
Already a below-average runner, likely to lose a step as his powerful frame starts to fill out; solid athleticism could allow him to swipe a few bases per year, though won't be an aggressive baserunner; won't need to use legs hitting in the middle of a lineup.
Already a quality defender at first base with soft hands, good footwork and more than enough arm strength for the position; will be able to turn quick double plays easily throwing from the left side with a plus arm; would be below-average in the outfield.
Powerful throwing arm has helped him play outfield in high school; move to first base doesn't create much need for plus arm strength, though it will help him turn into plus defender; accuracy is above-average; will be plus glove at first base.
MLB Player Comparison: Adrian Gonzalez
Projection: No. 3 hitter and Gold Glove first baseman on first-division team. All-Star potential.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 80%
A top-15 talent in this draft, Smith is a very safe bet to sign after being drafted. There is motivation from the team to get the deal done; aside from the obvious desire to get a talented player into its system, it knows that he is one of the best hitters in a very weak class for bats.
Smith does have a commitment to USC, close to where he lives in California, but it seems unlikely that the allure of a big contract as a first-round pick would prevent him from joining Major League Baseball right now.