Justin Smoak
Justin Smoak
32-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Toronto Blue Jays
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Smoak paired an elevated launch angle with his usually solid plate discipline to submit a long-awaited breakout in 2017. While he was a productive hitter on the whole again last season (121 wRC+), most of his success was derived from his 0.53 BB/K rather than maintaining his prior gains in the power department. Smoak lost 13 home runs from his 2017 total, with that decline likely attributable to a 2.2-degree drop in his launch angle and sizable corresponding downturns in his hard-hit and barrel rates. The 32-year-old shouldn't be written off entirely as a rebound candidate for 2019. Another 25-homer, high-OBP/low-average campaign could await Smoak, who had his $8 million option exercised by Toronto in the offseason. That profile is useful enough in real-life terms, but not as much in the fantasy realm. Read Past Outlooks
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$Toronto picked up his $8 million option for 2019 in October of 2018.
Cranks 15th homer
1BToronto Blue Jays
July 16, 2019
Smoak went 2-for-3 with two walks, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored Tuesday against the Red Sox.
ANALYSIS
Smoak played a big role in the Blue Jays' offensive output Tuesday night, highlighted by his 15th homer of the season -- a solo shot in the sixth inning. Entering the team's series against the Red Sox, Smoak had failed to collect a hit in five consecutive starts, though he's gone 3-for-8 with three RBI and three runs scored in the first two games of the set. He's now hitting .216/.354/.421 across 316 plate appearances for the season.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
4
24
12
4
7
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
10
8
1
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+53%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+26%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+14%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .754 432 36 13 42 0 .255 .347 .407
Since 2017vs Right .859 1110 150 64 163 0 .244 .353 .506
2019vs Left .553 97 9 1 6 0 .183 .309 .244
2019vs Right .847 214 25 13 32 0 .224 .364 .483
2018vs Left .688 192 11 5 18 0 .235 .318 .371
2018vs Right .867 402 56 20 59 0 .245 .366 .501
2017vs Left .977 143 16 7 18 0 .331 .413 .565
2017vs Right .856 494 69 31 72 0 .252 .338 .518
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+23%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+5%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .808 807 99 38 102 0 .240 .348 .459
Since 2017Away .853 735 87 39 103 0 .256 .355 .498
2019Home .686 180 19 8 17 0 .182 .328 .358
2019Away .846 131 15 6 21 0 .250 .374 .472
2018Home .787 309 36 11 38 0 .240 .346 .441
2018Away .830 285 31 14 39 0 .244 .354 .475
2017Home .892 318 44 19 47 0 .271 .362 .531
2017Away .874 319 41 19 43 0 .269 .348 .527
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Stat Review
How does Justin Smoak compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against this season's data (min 200 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.84
 
BB Rate
16.1%
 
K Rate
19.3%
 
BABIP
.223
 
ISO
.205
 
AVG
.216
 
OBP
.354
 
SLG
.421
 
OPS
.775
 
wOBA
.338
 
Exit Velocity
90.3 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
43.4%
 
Barrels/PA
7.6%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Blue Jays Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justin Smoak
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Friday Picks
12 days ago
Mike Barner is targeting Dylan Bundy and the Orioles with a Blue Jays stack Friday.
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Breakdown
13 days ago
Chris Bennett thinks you may have to throw in some riskier GPP selections due to the limited slate, offering up a few Phillies' hitters against Braves' All-Star Mike Soroka.
Oak's Corner: A Midseason Wish List
19 days ago
Scott Jenstad looks at underperforming or under the radar players to identify one guy at each position who might break out in the second half, like Padres catcher Francisco Mejia.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
24 days ago
Erik Siegrist offers his weekly skim of the free-agent pool and finds that Liam Hendriks is one of a number of relievers poised to take advantage of unexpected closer turmoil in the Junior Circuit.
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
34 days ago
Chris Bennett checks in with his Thursday DraftKings recommendations.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
Smoak, long considered a bust as a first-round pick, went off for a career-high 38 home runs last season, and it's rather difficult to poke holes in his performance. In his age-30 campaign, Smoak trimmed his strikeout rate by more than 11 percentage points (to 20.1 percent) while adding 138 points to his slugging percentage (.529 SLG). As Smoak explained to Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs, he learned to lay off more pitches outside the strike zone -- particularly the curveball -- and was better at making contact with pitches out of the zone when he did swing at them. While Smoak's batting average fell to .241 in the second half, he improved his walk rate considerably after the break (from 9.3 percent to 13.8 percent) while maintaining a strikeout rate right around 20 percent. He hit from both sides of the plate and his home/road splits were marginal. Playing time concerns are justified, but we're buying into Smoak's development as a player.
Smoak looked primed for a big 2016 when platoon-mate Chris Colabello was suspended in April for violating the league's substance abuse policy. However, Smoak couldn't capitalize on the opportunity and found himself regularly sitting on the bench by season's end. He had a strong May (.309 with five homers), but hit just .176 with nine home runs in the other five months combined. The first baseman struggled so much that manager John Gibbons reluctantly moved the defensively-challenged Edwin Encarnacion from DH to an everyday job in the field. Smoak's 32.8 percent strikeout rate was the sixth highest in all of MLB for players with at least 330 plate appearances. Steve Pearce will start against lefties and Rowdy Tellez, one of the Jays' top prospects, could give Smoak a run for his money by midseason.
After a disastrous 2014 season, Smoak found new digs north of the border and put together a strong season. While a sub-.300 on-base percentage is less than ideal, Smoak is an excellent defender at first base and provides a nice platoon bat. Chris Colabello came out of nowhere and finding him at-bats became increasingly difficult due to Smoak’s strong play. Smoak, Colabello and Edwin Encarnacion should split time at first base and designated hitter, though Smoak may end up seeing the shortest end of that stick. His defense and switch-hitting abilities will find him as a late-inning replacement, particularly when Encarnacion is manning first, but is the worst hitter of their three options.
Smoak, the centerpiece of the return package from the Rangers for Cliff Lee in 2010, hit just .224/.309/.380 with 66 homers in parts of five seasons with the Mariners. Seattle finally gave up on him last season, and he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays in October. He posted a career-low .614 OPS in 80 games with the Mariners in 2014, but he'll at least provide Toronto with some depth and could make a run at semi-regular playing time, with Adam Lind shipped off to Milwaukee in the offseason.
With nearly 2,000 major-league plate appearances, it's probably time to just accept Smoak for what he is –- a streaky, low-average hitter with a bit of power who struggles with contact and can't hit lefties despite switch-hitting. His batting average likely will always be feeble as long as his contract rate remains in the mid-70s (74 percent last season). He has home-run power but last year's .412 slugging percentage was a career high. His hot streaks, such as the one he went on last year after he came off the disabled list, are usually propelled by inflated BABIP and flyball rates that eventually normalize. Sure, he can draw some walks, but he's useless against lefties (.192/.274/.548 last season). Perhaps the Rangers knew what they were doing when they traded him to the Mariners in 2010 for Cliff Lee.
Smoak entered last season needing to prove he was the long-term answer at first base for the Mariners. He spent most of the season, though, just trying to prove he was better than the Mendoza Line. The Mariners finally had enough by late July and sent him to Triple-A with a .189 average. He returned in mid-August with a shortened swing and finished the season with a flourish, hitting .394 with a 1.177 OPS and five homers in his final 18 games. It was an encouraging finish, but it wasn't the only time he got hot last year. In fact, he looked like he had found his swing with a month-long hot streak early in the season only to then slump to a .394 OPS (not a misprint) in the 39 games before his demotion. Ultimately, Smoak did not prove what he needed to last season, and the Mariners appear to have given up on him, acquiring Kendrys Morales to handle the bulk of first-base duty and Mike Morse, who can back up first if needed. Smoak is headed back to Triple-A if he isn't traded.
After a promising start to the season, Smoak's 2011 turned rocky by early summer. He struggled through July, watching his average drop nearly 50 points from its late-June high of .264. He played only three games in August because of separate injuries. And all that came after his father passed away earlier in the year. Instead of solidifying his spot in the middle of the lineup, Smoak still has questions to answer. The Mariners are in the market for more power, but if they sign a first baseman, Smoak likely would be kept around as the DH. Either way, Smoak has something to prove in 2012.
Smoak was the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee deal last season, heading to Seattle with the opportunity to be a middle-of-the-order power bat and first baseman for the foreseeable future. He struggled at times with Texas after his callup, and then the Mariners sent him to Triple-A after a .439 OPS in 16 games. He returned in mid-September and warmed up over the final 10 games with 15 hits, three doubles, three homers, nine RBI and seven walks. If he can carry that over to 2011, he'll be in fine shape. If not, he'll have plenty of time to figure things out as he has first base all to himself.
Smoak struggled at Triple-A Oklahoma City, hitting just .244/.363/.360 in 197 at-bats following a decent showing at Double-A Frisco (.326/.450/.483 in 178 at-bats). He continues to show an excellent batting eye, drawing 52 walks and fanning just 55 times in 375 at-bats on the season. The lack of power is a tad troubling, though we'll give him another go at Triple-A Oklahoma City before we get too concerned. Where he fits in behind Chris Davis once he arrives in Texas will largely depend on how each player progresses over the next 12-18 months.
Smoak draw comparisons to Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira after being a first-round pick in June, and his brief pro debut (.304/.355/.518 in 56 at-bats) at Low-A Clinton was solid after agreeing to terms right at the deadline in early August. His AFL campaign was solid as well, and he should see time at Double-A Frisco by year's end. Where he fits long-term with Chris Davis at first base remains to be seen, but it's a nice problem to have.
More Fantasy News
Takes seat
1BToronto Blue Jays
July 13, 2019
Smoak is out of the lineup versus the Yankees on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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Takes seat for Canada Day
1BToronto Blue Jays
July 1, 2019
Smoak is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Royals.
ANALYSIS
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Homers twice
1BToronto Blue Jays
June 30, 2019
Smoak went 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI in a 7-6 loss to the Royals on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Activated from injured list
1BToronto Blue Jays
June 28, 2019
Smoak (quad) was activated from the injured list Friday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
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Hoping to return Friday
1BToronto Blue Jays
Quadriceps
June 26, 2019
Smoak (quadriceps) ran the bases with no issues Wednesday, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 The Fan reports.
ANALYSIS
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