(CBS Local)– New York Met Dominic Smith is only 24 years old, but it’s been a wild six years for him since he was selected 11th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft.

The California native battled through struggles in the minors and dealt with issues from sleep apnea before finally becoming a mainstay on the team.

Smith is having his best season in the bigs this year with a .300 average and more home runs in 77 games than he had all of last year. The Mets outfielder and first baseman finally feels like he belongs and it was a long time coming for him.

“I went into camp in great shape and I went in with a bunch of buddies and a bunch of guys my age,” said Smith in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “We kind of just gelled and got along really well. Getting back to being happy, that was the biggest thing. It sucked going to the field sometimes and it was dreadful some days. There were just some days you didn’t want to go. I got my mind right and a little bit of help and I’m happy to go out there and just play baseball again.”

Smith says his closest friends on the team are Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis, and Jeff McNeil.  Despite the solid young core, the Mets are 10 games under .500 entering the second half of the season.

“We battled a lot of injuries early in the year,” said Smith. “Our pitching has been hurt a little bit and so has our bullpen. Guys are just trying to figure it out. We are out there competing. This year hasn’t been the easiest for us obviously. We are just trying to grind through these days everyday. We gotta keep believing and grinding everyday. The ball hasn’t rolled our way this half. We’ve been in a lot of games, we need to do a little more to be on the winning side.”

While Smith acknowledges that this season has been different from the rest, he’s confident the Mets can turn things around in the second half.

“If we were in first place, we wouldn’t be talking about half the things we are talking about,” said Smith. “All we can do is go out there and try to win and we gotta step it up and win some games.”

The Mets begin the second half of the season Friday night on the road against the Miami Marlins.