02/26/2020 6:03 PM
Article By: Benjamin Gainsboro
Some players, like Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox or Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees have what you would call “sneaky power.” They aren’t overly big or strong, but they find a way, whether in their compact swing or forearm strength, to hit home runs at an elite level. Justin Smoak is not one of those guys. Standing at 6-4 and weighing over 220 pounds, Smoak has the prototypical “look” of a power hitter. When the big man arrived at Cotuit for the 2006 season, his power shined through from day one. When the season was over, Smoak ended up leading the league in total bases (87), extra base hits (21), and slugging percentage (.565). He also hit .287, slugged 11 (!) home runs, and won the regular season MVP award. His dominant performance on the Cape garnered the attention of MLB scouts, and Smoak was taken in the first round (11th overall) in the 2008 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. 10 years into his MLB career, Smoak has 191 home runs (19.1 per season), including a 38-home run outburst in the 2017 season playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. Prolific power, consistency, and professionalism have followed Smoak wherever he has gone throughout his baseball career.