After being selected in the first round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dominic Smith ascended his way up through the Mets' minor league system, while receiving help along the way.
One of the people who helped Smith become the major leaguer he is today is his now manager Luis Rojas, who coached Smith at multiple stops along the way to Queens.
Appearing as a guest on The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies, Rojas told a story of how he helped motivate Smith during his 2015 season with the St. Lucie Mets, after Smith had shown up a bit out of shape and wasn't hustling the way Rojas and the rest of the coaching staff wanted him to.
"I think you hit one homer in Savannah, right? So I think it was in his head a little bit," Rojas said. "I'm a left-handed hitter, first baseman, a strong kid. He wants to hit more homers. So the next year, he came a little bit bigger let's call it, right?
"For the first month, Dom was a little out of shape and he struggled the first month."
Rojas told Smith he needed to bring more energy to his game, since the level of competition was only going to increase as Smith rose through the system.
But the left-handed slugger needed a little extra motivation, and Rojas came up with a plan.
"I didn't know this, but they had an intern film me the whole time," said Smith. "Just me, like me walking around the dugout, me walking on the field, me running out ground balls. And I kid you not, it was pretty embarrassing to see.
"I think that really opened my eyes because I never saw that from that perspective. I only played a certain type of way up until that point, so I never knew how bad it really looked, and then when I saw how bad it really looked, it just changed for me and I learned a lot. Luis helped me develop into the player I am today. I can't thank him enough for that."
"This guy was 19 years old and things were so easy for him," Rojas explained. "We knew that we needed to challenge him and we needed to see things from a different perspective with how the game was going to get at some point. He responded absolutely great. He ended up being the MVP of that league that year."