- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- ESPN's Keith Law projects the Mets selecting Gardena, Calif., high school first baseman Dominic Smith with the 11th overall pick in next month's draft.Larry Goren/Four Seam Images via AP Images
Dominic Smith participates in the Jesse Flores All-Star Game at the Urban Youth Academy on Nov. 4, 2012 in Compton, Calif.
Baseball America's initial projection has the Mets selecting New Mexico first/third baseman D.J. Peterson from the University of New Mexico, but Law has Peterson off the board at No. 9 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Other draft possibilities: Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge or "long shots" Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe or Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson.
Writes Law on Smith:
Smith is one of the best pure hitters in the high school class, showing a smooth left-handed swing with power and a plus glove at first base. When he keeps his weight back, his swing is outstanding, with great balance through contact and good hip rotation to generate power from his legs. He has quick, strong wrists, with a projectable body that should lead to very hard contact when he fills out in three or four years.
He can drift forward at the plate too early, getting his weight out over his front side before he's started his hands, losing power and struggling to control the bat head behind him. His stride is long and early, which may be part of the reason for his trouble staying back but is an easy fix in pro ball.
Smith is an excellent defender at first with a 70 arm, hitting 92 off the mound the one time I saw him pitch, albeit with a rough delivery. He doesn't show a lot of energy on the field, which has positive aspects (he's a confident, relaxed hitter) and negative ones (some scouts have questioned the effort level, myself included), but there are no serious concerns about his makeup. In this draft, with so few potential impact bats, he's a clear top 20 talent.
ESPN Insiders can get a more thorough draft analysis here.