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Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?

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Offline  Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#1

Posted: June 01, 2019, 8:44 PM Post
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I honestly never thought I would be advocating for a first baseman addition this season. I was certain one of Thames or Aguilar could at least be passable at the position, but now more than one-third of the way through the season the Brewers have gotten almost no production from the 1B position. Only the Rockies, Orioles, and Royals rank worse according to Baseball Reference’s Position Performance by Wins Above Average.

So what about looking for a 1B for not only now, but the next few years as well?

That question brings me to a possible trade option. There is a good chance first baseman Dominic Smith will get traded this season.

Dominic Smith’s route to regular playing time with the Mets is blocked for the foreseeable future with the emergence of Peter Alonso. Smith is at the stage where he is a post-hype prospect, but is still just 23 years old (turns 24 in June). The Mets have tried to play him briefly in the outfield in past seasons, but have been hesitant to go that route with him long term. I can’t imagine they will carry a 1B only bench bat on their roster the entire season. There are rumors they are trying to build up his trade value (for which he is obliging by hitting for a 176 wRC+ and 1.006 OPS, albeit in just 70 plate appearances).

I don’t think he will be dirt cheap, and the requested return of either MLB ready players or prospects will likely be somewhat dependent upon how the Mets season goes between now and mid-July. I think the Brewers would be better suited to matchup on prospects (Turang, Ray, Brown, etc.), than MLB ready contributors (maybe Burnes?).

I am not sure if the Brewers would prefer their 1B of the future to have greater positional flexibility than their current iterations. If that is the case, Smith is probably not their guy. Smith could however represent an opportunity to add a player that could be penciled in as a regular for the foreseeable future (he isn’t eligible for free agency until 2025).

I know 1B is usually an easier position to fill from the scrap heap than most, but it seems to have dogged the Brewers in more seasons than not since the end of Prince’s reign. Is it crazy to look for longer term solutions at 1B? Could Dominic Smith be the answer?


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Online  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#2

Posted: June 01, 2019, 8:50 PM Post
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Dominic Smith is nice in theory, but probably way to complicated to match up and agree on. Not to discount his age, but before his small sample this year he has been pretty bad. We need an upgrade and someone we can be confident will be an upgrade. I don’t know Smith can be that. Last thing we need is to trade meaningful value for a guy and watch him struggle too...we just can’t.

I think there will likely be easier to acquire, cheaper, and more reliable options out there.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#3

Posted: June 02, 2019, 12:52 AM Post
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Just looked at his numbers and he’d be a great candidate to acquire. He’s young, always been very young for his levels, has a track-record of producing, and left-handed. What’s fair value?


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Online  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#4

Posted: June 02, 2019, 8:02 AM Post
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Not sure they’ll want to part with him. They have two young, possibly productive, bats that are controlled for awhile. Smith can play LF so that helps them out.

"I'm not as good as I was but in big moments I'm still the guy. I want that opportunity." -Ryan Braun


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
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Posted: June 02, 2019, 8:22 AM Post
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Brew4U said:
Smith can play LF so that helps them out.

They just recently started playing him in left field over the past week, but only once left him there for an entire game so far. He looked awkward in LF when they experimented with it in past years, and it seems Mickey Callaway has been hesitant to play him there until basically being forced to figure out how to get his bat in the lineup more often. I am skeptical having him play in LF with regularity is a viable option, it would seemingly be the equivalent of Eric Thames playing in the outfield on a daily basis.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
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Posted: June 02, 2019, 8:42 AM Post
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All depends on what the Brewers scouting department thinks, because his stats certainly are not inspiring for a 1B-only prospect, even if he is still young. If we are giving up a big prospect haul, I'd rather target an established veteran under team control for a shorter period of time. (Would San Francisco consider shopping Brandon Belt?)


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
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Posted: June 02, 2019, 8:44 AM Post
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The idea of parting with the prospects required to acquire Smith when the first base position is the easiest position in baseball to upgrade doesn’t make sense to me. If the Brewers decide to upgrade at that position for this year, would think the rental route, higher salaried, middling prospect return would be the preferred route.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#8

Posted: June 02, 2019, 11:24 AM Post
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I'm not convinced Thames is anything more than he's been the past 2+ years: Good power when he actually connects, but he just doesn't make enough contact in general. Aguilar has enough of a better track record that I'm more willing to think he's still part of the long-term picture.

If 1-year contract (with an option) guys Moustakas and Grandal like Milwaukee enough that they could be here for a while, and with Shaw still a very viable part of the mix, we have plenty of guys who can cover 1B sufficiently for this year & next without having to go get someone else for a while, plus he's pretty deft fielding-wise.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#9

Posted: June 02, 2019, 12:37 PM Post
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MNBrew said:
I'm not convinced Thames is anything more than he's been the past 2+ years: Good power when he actually connects, but he just doesn't make enough contact in general. Aguilar has enough of a better track record that I'm more willing to think he's still part of the long-term picture.

If 1-year contract (with an option) guys Moustakas and Grandal like Milwaukee enough that they could be here for a while, and with Shaw still a very viable part of the mix, we have plenty of guys who can cover 1B sufficiently for this year & next without having to go get someone else for a while, plus he's pretty deft fielding-wise.

I'm sorry but how does Aguilar have any more of a track record than Thames does? Aguilar's had one very good first half and one other decent half of a season. Thames is OPSing .838 in his three years here (before the home run today) and Aguilar is OPSing .833 in those same three years. They have extremely similar track records.

I can buy the part that he's more of the long term picture, but for this year, when we are competing for a serious playoff run, we might not have the luxury of affording Aguilar the time to keep working through this as a right handed hitting, first base only player...


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#10

Posted: June 02, 2019, 2:38 PM Post
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Thames actually has a much better overall track record in his professional career. Aguilar had an .800 OPS for nearly 10 years in the minors, and wasn't especially young at any stop. That is horrible. He also had a sub-.800 OPS away from Coors in 2017, with pretty favorable platoon chances to boot, so even this talk of him having 2 good years under his belt is completely overblown.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#11

Posted: June 02, 2019, 4:37 PM Post
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Thames must have the quietest. 850 OPS you'll ever see. We definitely don't win today without his offense.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#12

Posted: June 02, 2019, 4:49 PM Post
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adambr2 said:
Thames must have the quietest. 850 OPS you'll ever see. We definitely don't win today without his offense.


Amen. Every time I see talk about how we need to move Thames I just shake my head.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#13

Posted: June 02, 2019, 6:54 PM Post
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Thames, Aguilar, Shaw, Braun... we have 1B covered with big league sluggers, albeit with many struggling at this moment.


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Online  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#14

Posted: June 04, 2019, 7:42 AM Post
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rickh150 said:
Thames, Aguilar, Shaw, Braun... we have 1B covered with big league sluggers, albeit with many struggling at this moment.


Can he though? Aguilar has been the biggest pile of dinosaur dung this year and Braun has yet to appear there. I am just really questioning the validity of Braun being an option there.


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Online  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#15

Posted: June 06, 2019, 6:42 AM Post
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Too bad Stearns gave up on Garrett Cooper. Two years ago Brewers had Thames, Aguilar in the majors and Cooper raking at AAA. Right now of those three, I'm not sure Cooper isn't the best bet going forward.


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Online  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#16

Posted: June 06, 2019, 6:52 AM Post
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JohnBriggs12 said:
Too bad Stearns gave up on Garrett Cooper. Two years ago Brewers had Thames, Aguilar in the majors and Cooper raking at AAA. Right now of those three, I'm not sure Cooper isn't the best bet going forward.


Possibly, but we probably wouldn't have said that during the first half of last year.

I dont think we should spend the prospects to get Smith. Considering 1b is typically a position easy to find players/an upgrade.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#17

Posted: November 04, 2019, 1:12 PM Post
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Bump. [smile]


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#18

Posted: November 04, 2019, 2:53 PM Post
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Surplus:
D. Smith - 6.9

Lutz - 7.8
Claudio - 6.4
Corey Ray - 4.8

Trade simulator site would have Lutz as a slight overpay, Claudio as a little below value.

I'd trade Claudio and a lower level prospect for sure for Smith. I think Stearns making a deal with Mets in general works out no matter which way it goes.


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Offline  Re: Dominic Smith as 1B of the future?
#19

Posted: November 04, 2019, 6:08 PM Post
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Interesting name. I'd be cool with it. Might need to add a RH bench bat as insurance, but I'd be interested.


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