June 6, 2013
Dissecting the Draft: Dominic Smith (Player Report)
Dominic Smith | 1B/OF | Serra HS (Los Angeles, CA)
Smith in 140 characters or less:
Advanced approach; +offensive profile, uses whole field; mid-order bat; elite 1b defense but lacks ideal size; +makeup/work ethic.
Tapered frame with solid strength; some room to hang a little more. Good coordination; excellent body control in field. Speed plays below average.
Smith is the rare multi-positional prospect that may ultimately provide more value at the position lower on the defensive spectrum (first base versus a corner outfield spot). At the three spot, Smith boasts excellent footwork and some of the best hands you will ever see in a prep player. He has the potential to grow into the best defensive first baseman in the league. In the outfield, his footspeed plays down due to poor routes and inconsistent reads off the bat, casting doubt as to whether he can provide more than below average defense out in the grass.
Smith is a pure hitter that excels at barreling up balls and producing loud contact. At times he can get overly aggressive and expand the zone, but overall he has a good feel for the strikezone and shows the ability to both turn around good velocity and drive stuff on the outer-half to the left-center gap. As he matures physically, he should see a jump in his playable power, which has already improved over the past twelve months. The upside is a plus hit/plus power bat that could fit comfortably in the middle of a first division lineup.
As a first base profile, there is extra pressure placed on the development of Smith's bat, which would generally make him a tough risk to tab in the top ten picks. He has shown such a proclivity for hitting, however, that it is easy for evaluators to talk themselves down from those concerns and focus on the immense upside. While you don't win championships with first base defense, any team would be thrilled to have a first bagger with Smith's abilities manning the corner spot for the foreseeable future. The profile fits best as a mid-first round talent, but the sum of Smith's track record, makeup, work ethic, and pure hitting abilities make him a worthy top ten target.
Projected position: Above-average first baseman on first division team
Suggested draft slot: Early-1st Round; consideration for top 10 overall