Smith heads Mets' Spring Training invites

Shortstop Guillorme, lefty Conlon among others heading to camp

Dominic Smith hit a career-high 14 homers in 2016, batting .302/.367/.457 at Double-A Binghamton. (Gordon Donovan/

By Chris Tripodi / | January 11, 2017 3:40 PM

Dominic Smith reached double-digit home runs for the first time in his professional career in 2016. The Mets took notice of the power surge, inviting their No. 2 prospect to Major League Spring Training on Wednesday so they can get a closer look.

Smith isn't the only ranked Mets prospect that will open camp with the team, as 20th-ranked prospect Luis Guillorme and 28th-ranked prospect P.J. Conlon are also among New York's 13 non-roster invitees. Both Smith and Guillorme were drafted out of high school in 2013, with Smith going No. 11 overall and Guillorme falling to the 10th round. Conlon was a 2015 13th-rounder out of San Diego.

After hitting 10 career home runs in his first 1,090 Minor League at-bats, Smith broke out with 14 homers in 484 at-bats last season for Double-A Binghamton. He hit over .300 for the third time in four seasons and batted .302/.367/.457 overall, walking 50 times and fanning 74 times in 130 games. Smith was at his best once the calendar turned to July, hitting a blistering .348 over 204 at-bats with seven home runs, 40 RBIs, 28 walks and 26 strikeouts in his final 56 games.

Guillorme was unable to repeat his strong 2015 (.318/.391/.354) at Class A Savannah in 2016 with Class A Advanced St. Lucie, but he still hit .263/.332/.315 and is regarded as the top defensive shortstop in the Mets system. He lacks power -- he has just one home run in 1,293 professional at-bats -- but his 63-to-43 strikeout-to-walk ratio with St. Lucie shows an advanced approach at the plate.

Conlon was outstanding in his first year of full-season ball, earning Pitcher of the Year honors within the organization and winning the MiLBY fan vote for Top Starting Pitcher. Conlon went 8-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 starts for Class A Columbia and was even better at St. Lucie, posting a 1.41 ERA and 4-1 record in 12 appearances (11 starts). His 112-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 142 innings and .220 batting average against helped him allow under one baserunner per inning, posting a 0.98 WHIP.

Others invited to Mets camp are right-handers Chase Bradford, Kevin McGowan, Paul Sewald, Corey Taylor and Logan Taylor, left-hander David Roseboom, catcher Xorge Carillo, infielder Phillip Evans and outfielders Champ Stuart and Travis Taijeron.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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