Dominic Smith Addresses The Binghamton Press on Media Day | Astromets Mind

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dominic Smith Addresses The Binghamton Press on Media Day

If you missed my 2015 Splits Review of Smith, check it out here!

The B-Mets posted the interview on Periscope, but here are the highlights in case you missed it

Q: Dominic, you’re climbing the ranks here in the organizational tree, starting the season in AA, how exciting is this for you after spending all of last year down in St. Lucie?

Dominic Smith: It’s really exciting and a great opportunity. I’m moving up with a lot of players I’ve played with in the past. It’s always fun to get after with those guys it again. Got a great team, great coaching staff, and this is a great league, so it’s very exciting. A lot of people say this is the most elite level before the big leagues, so I’m really eager to get out there and play some ball.

Q: A lot of people say this is the biggest jump, what have you heard about how you need to adjust to this level?

Dom: For one, the weather is definitely different than the Florida State League, where it’s sunny everyday. Also, it’s coming in everyday and knowing you’re going to be facing an elite player everyday, whether it’s a pitcher or reliever. I feel like this league is definitely going to be tough, but just staying mentally prepared and mentally strong everyday, and just grinding the days out will help me get through this year.

Q: You had a strong season last year, what were some of the things you were working on in the offseason and during Spring Training to take your game to the next level here and beyond?

Dom: I definitely think the fall league helped me out tremendously. I got to go there and a lot of those guys were high-A/AA guys. I think going out there and playing against those guys – working on my timing and laying off some pitches while seeing good pitches everyday – really helped my approach and with the mental side of the game. Also, going to big-league camp and seeing how they pitched me there helped. Seeing the difference between stuff at the big league level and the minor league level, and how they never give in. I think it all prepared me for this level, so I’m excited to just get out there and play.

Q: Last year, fans got a look at Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini and Michael Fulmer – all former first rounders – and this year, you’re that guy. Does that weigh on your mind a little bit and/or add a little more pressure to things?

Dom: It can, but I like those things. I know it’s tough, but sometimes, some players have to be that type of guy, and I’m prepared mentally for that. The everyday grind of trying to impress and excite the fans is not easy, and it’s going to be tough when I have a bad game to just not really worry about the things off the field. But I think I’m pretty much prepared for being that guy. But there are a lot of guys on our team that can be that guy day in and day out. We got a deep lineup, and we have an older and mature group, so I think you’ll all be excited with all the people that come out and perform for us.

Q: What do you think has helped you prepare to be that guy? Obviously you’ve had a couple of years in the pro’s now, but coming from high-school ball to professional ball to now climbing the ladder to be the guy that everyone is looking at, what do you think has helped prepare you for that?

Dom: I just think the experience. They threw me into full season ball right after the GCL. So just learning from that level, learning from a lot of our college guys. And then last year, also, playing under Michael Conforto, he helped me out a lot. A lot of big league players came down to rehab, just learning their mental side and how they prepare for the game. I just feel like now, mentally, I’m prepared to take on that role as opposed to just holding my own

Q: What would you say is the biggest thing you’ve taken away from the older and more experienced guys as far as mental approach?

Dom: Not digging way too deep into it everyday. When the game is over, you can’t go back and you can’t dwell on it, because then it’s going to be a long season. You can’t get too high when you’re doing well, and you can’t get too low when you’re doing bad. It’s a long season, 144 games, so you just got to take it one day at a time and you just have to have fun. That’s what a lot of professional baseball players lose playing everyday. They stop having fun and it becomes more of a job, and when they take that mental aspect from it, it’s tough for them to mentally rebound when they’re doing bad. If you keep everything fun, everybody is still going to struggle a little bit, but it’s a lot easier to turn around.

Q: Is there any particular goals you set for yourself coming into this year?

Dom: Not really any particular goals for myself, but team goals – play well, win a lot of games, go to the playoffs and hopefully win the championship – those are my goals.

Q: The team has had success here in Binghamton over the past few years, so what have you heard about playing here in Binghamton?

Dom: Aside from the fact it’s cold? I heard there are great fans and it’s a great city, so I’m excited and I’m looking forward to that, and I’ve heard there are a lot of die-hard fans. I heard the ball carries here a little better than the last league I played in, so I’m excited about that as well. I know a lot of guys playing on different teams in this league, so I’m looking for to playing against them again. And I think we have a really good team, so we should make a good push.

Q: Is there anything the organization told you to focus on this year in terms of what they expect out of you?

Dom: The only thing they told me is to not focus on much. They told me don’t focus on hitting homeruns, don’t focus on any of that stuff, just go out, play your game and have fun. If I’m able to do that then I should be able to have a pretty good year. That’s really what I’m looking forward to. They’ve been happy with my production to this point, so if they’re happy, then I’m happy.

Q: Anybody in the organization you think has helped you develop more than the rest to this point? (It was hard to hear the whole question)

Dom: I think Luis Rojas, who had me the last two years between A-ball and High-A. That’s a great baseball mind to have around you for two years, and he helped me mature a lot as an adult. I give him a ton of credit because he’s seen me go through my growing pains and go through my slumps, and he’s seen me develop as well. He’s always been preaching a lot of mental things to me that helped me keep my head in the game.

Q: You mentioned the organization told you not to worry or focus too much about homeruns. Being you’re a guy that plays 1B, and a big guy, is that something you try not to think about? It’s obviously a power position, how do you handle that and what’s your approach to power?

Dom: I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about it, of course I think about it, who doesn’t want to hit homeruns? I’m a first baseman, so yeah I do think about it, but they’re really preaching to me to just learn how to hit. I’m strong enough to hit the ball out of the park line to line, so as I keep developing my swing, the loft will come naturally with it. I hit pretty well last year, and I want to just continue to make solid contact.

Q: What’s the energy like in the organization since the team is coming off the World Series appearance?

Dom: It’s a great vibe. Every affiliate is really excited, and really happy. We have a great young core group of guys in the big leagues, and everybody wants to play hard and is excited to get up there to help those guys win. Everybody is really happy, especially AA and up, because you’re closer than the lower level guys. Everybody wants to be a Met now, and that’s a great feeling to have.

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