PHILADELPHIA — Dominic Smith, regarded as the Mets’ second-best prospect behind Amed Rosario, will be promoted to the major leagues Friday, general manager Sandy Alderson announced.
Wednesday’s trade of Jay Bruce to the Indians created the opening for Smith’s promotion, which had been expected sometime this month. “Consistent with what we’ve said in the past, we want to get a look at him beyond just your typical September call-up,” Alderson said.
Smith will play first base Friday night in the second game of a four-game series against the Phillies before the start of the Subway Series against the Yankees on Monday night.
Smith, 22, hit .330 with 16 homers and 76 RBIs with Triple-A Las Vegas. “He hasn’t been on a tear,” Alderson said. “It’s not like he’s hit .500 the last week or 10 days. But he’s continued to play well defensively and offensively. And we think the time is right.”
The 11th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Smith has been lauded for his soft hands and a smooth lefthanded swing, but scouts question whether he’ll hit for power. He has battled issues with his weight through the years, and scouts say he has regained some of the pounds he lost by revamping his eating habits during the offseason.
With the Mets out of contention, the focus has shifted toward taking inventory for 2018.
“He’s a young player and we’re intrigued to see what kind of player he is,” manager Terry Collins said. “I’m anxious to see how he swings the bat, I’m anxious to see how his discipline is at the plate, I’m anxious to see how he handles himself at first and how he handles himself in this atmosphere. There’s no leagues higher than this. Any time you have a young player come up, you want to see how they deal with it.’’
To make room for Smith, reliever Fernando Salas was designated for assignment . . . Matt Harvey (shoulder) will begin a minor-league rehab assignment on the road tomorrow with Class A Brooklyn . . . Juan Lagares (fractured thumb) was activated off the disabled list.