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Justin Smoak

Big time Ranger prospect, now Seattle Mariner is finally showing signs of his potential coming through.

Smoak was the primary piece of the Cliff Lee trade in 2010, but hasn’t lived up to his billing.  He was predicted to be the next Mark Texiera (back when he was good).  A power hitting switch hitter who can maintain a good average.  At the time, the Mariners had lots of pitching but needed hitting, seemed like a good trade.  But Smoak only hit .218 in 2010 with 13 HRs.  In 2011, 123 games for Seattle, he batted an anemic .234 with 15 HRs.  Looking like a bust.

This year, Smoak hasn’t been too good (until recently).  Batting .240 on the year is not turning any heads.

However, over the last week, Smoak is batting .408, with 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, 8 BB and 7 Runs.  Very impressive.  Now he isn’t going to stay at this pace, but perhaps he can start to ‘turn the corner’ on his career.  He’s only 25, so he has plenty of time.

Smoak is on a bad hitting team and plays in the a pitchers park.  That, and his recent history, keeps Smoak as a borderline fantasy player even in deep leagues.  Still, Smoak has some upside.  Keep an eye on him moving forward- might be a second half surprise.


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