Before this season, Justin Smoak bas been known more for being the main piece in the Mariners-Rangers deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Rangers last year. Last year, after less than 700 minor league at bats, Smoak was thrust upon a Mariners team that had plenty of trouble scoring runs last year, and still do. But Smoak is doing his best to change that this year.
After going 2-4 with a walk, a HR, 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs on Wednesday night, Smoak is hitting .302-.408-.571 with 4 HRs and 14 RBIs this season. In addition, he owns an excellent 14-12 K/BB rate. It appears he is close to reaching his potential after struggling in his rookie season in Seattle. This offseason, I saw some question whether the Mariners took the right offer for Lee when they decided to take the Smoak offer over the rumored Jesus Montero offer from the Yankees.
There was also the questions amongst fantasy owners whether he would be able to hit for power hitting in Seattle's spacious Safeco Field. With 4 HRs in 63 at bats so far in 2011, he is on pace for a 26 - 91 season, which is very good for Smoak in his sophomore season.