Justin Smoak continues breakout campaign with two more HRs; will the numbers last?

juin, 11, 2019 • Posted by

Justin Smoak is accomplishing a feat rarely seen in MLB: A breakout season at the age of 30.Baseball had not been overly kind to Smoak since the Rangers selected himwith No https://www.redsoxedge.com/boston-red-sox/fred-lynn-jersey . 11 overall pick in 2008. Before this year, Smoak had never hit above .238 in a season, and his career-high for home runs is20.Not only is Smoak on pace to blow those personal bests out of the water, he is doing so in convincing fashion. After blasting two more home runs Wednesday, in a 7-5 win overthe Athletics, he already has 17 home runs with 42 RBIs this year, anda cool .291 batting average to boot.So what is the difference?Externally there doesn’t appear to be anything different with Smoak. He has always been a bigger guy wholooked like he should be consistently hitting 35 home runs.His approach, however, has changed significantly.Normally known as a pull hitter, Smoak has been working the ball to opposite field more often this season. His on-base percentage has jumped from .299 and .314, during his first two seasons with the Blue Jays, to a healthy .347 this year. Smoak’s slugging percentage, which reached a career-high in 2013 at .412, is now at .565.Basically, he is doing everything right so far this season after struggling to make consistent contact with the ball during the first seven years of his MLB career.Blues Jays fans likely thought the lo s of Edwin Encarnacion would be a huge detriment Craig Kimbrel Jersey to the lineup. But heading into Wednesday’s game, the new Indians slugger had just 10 home runs and 22 RBIs.Smoak has not only been better than Encarnacion through the first two months-plus of the season, he is among the American League leaders in home runs and RBIs, and his 1.5 WAR is on pace to set a new career high.Fantasy owners who were lucky enough to add Smoak on a whim, or are just https://www.redsoxedge.com/boston-red-sox/carl-yastrzemski-jersey now scooping him up, will likely want to know whether or not Smoak, who has hit five home runs in his last six games, can keep this form up all season.History can not be trusted in this instance. All signs point to a ma sive dropoff at some point, but Smoak looks like a new, confident hitter in the batter’s box. Some regre sion is to be expected, but, barring injury, it appears as though Smoak is going to challenge for 40 home runs.