2013 MLB Draft Profile: Dominic Smith, 1B, Serra HS (Calif.)

An athletic power bat from Southern California, Dominic Smith has swung his way into the discussion for top ten.

Ht./Wt.: 6'1", 205 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
DOB: 6/15/95 (18.11 on draft day)

Summary

To be rated the best prep prospect in your state, you have to be pretty special. To be rated the best prep prospect in one of the states that produces some of the best talent in the entire country, like California, you have to be really special. To be the best prep prospect in one of those states, and to be a lowly first baseman, lowest on the prospect totem pole, you have to be incredible.

Perfect Game lists Dominic Smith, a prep first baseman from Serra High School, as its #1 prep prospect from the state of California. What's more, though Smith plays primarily first base, PG ranks him as the #4 prep prospect in the entire nation. That should tell you something about his bat. He has the potential to be a truly elite power hitter at the MLB level. But that's not all he's got going for him. Dominic Smith is as athletic a player as you'll find in Southern California. He has the arm and speed to play the corner outfield spots, and in fact, that's probably where he'll end up. But he also pitches, and has been clocked as high as 95, though he usually sits in the 90-92 range; and his slider has been called among the best in this year's class. At last year's WWBA, he actually played catcher. He runs a 6.89 60-yard dash, which is listed as the 86th percentile among the prep class. And even at a fairly robust 6'0", 195 lbs., he looks like he still has room to grow on his frame.

Added to all of that is the fact that, at 18.11 on draft day, Smith is among the youngest players in the current prep draft class. Of the players in Baseball America's Top 250 prospects, Smith is the 19th-youngest. Simply put, there's a lot to dream on here.

And that bat? Oh, that bat is magical. In addition to a very good understanding of the strike zone and plate discipline, he seems to have the ability to square every ball up and send it three hundred feet.

The comp you hear most often from scouts and talent evaluators is Jonathan Singleton. I'd also go so far as to include Ryan Howard. If that isn't enough to get your blood flowing, what is?

Floor

Like any prep prospect, Smith has a low floor. As prep prospects go, though, he actually has a decently-high floor. There's always a concern that he won't figure out pro pitching, but there are no solid indications that this might be the case here.

He has some work to do, especially with his lower half, and may struggle with offspeed pitches. If he never makes those adjustments, that's obviously going to be a problem. The interesting thing is that, even when he's off-balance, he's often strong enough and athletic enough to square balls up and send them a long way. But he's got some work to do.

Ceiling

Honestly? Face-of-the-franchise superstar. For someone who has the reputation of a power hitter, Smith has a lot of tools. His contact and power could end up elite. His arm and glove could end up being assets. And his speed is far enough above average that it isn't a concern. If he can figure out professional hitting and keep from getting injured, he could very well end up the best prospect in the entire class, when it's all said and done.

Projected Draft Round

First round. Probably top ten. Top 15 at worst. The Blue Jays (who draft tenth) are rumored to be heavily into him, and I can confirm that their area scout has been all over him. I wouldn't expect him to drop past tenth.

Will He Sign?

He's committed to USC right now, but along with his fellow commit - J.P. Crawford - I expect him to happily depart for the lure of professional baseball. With a first round selection, it would likely take some serious ineptitude to lose him.

Bibliography/Video

Minor League Ball

One of the best pure hitters of the class, Smith just squares everything up. He floats out on his front foot sometimes, but I don’t care. He just drops the head of the bat on it and it goes 330’. He understands the strike zone and shouldn’t strike out as much as a typical power hitter does due to his sound approach and great hand-eye coordination.

Baseball Prospectus

Impressive physique, good tapered frame; big league body; clean swing with line drive ability pole-to-pole; pull side power but still learning to implement in-game; could develop legit playable power across field with time and reps; picks at first as well as any amateur I’ve seen; footspeed not ideal for outfield, even in a corner; will save runs at first base; plus make-up; USC commit; profiles well as Day 1 bat; a kid you draft with no concerns about his adjustment to pro ball on and off the field.

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