Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak is quietly atop the American League leaderboard in most offensive categories among those at his position.
Justin Smoak has followed up his breakout campaign from last season posting respectable numbers this season. However even though his power numbers are down from 2017, the first baseman still holds his own on the offensive leaderboard for his position.
The 31-year old his hitting .247/.355/.466 with 24 homers in 136 games for the Jays this season. Smoak leads all American League first basemen in On-Base Percentage (.355), On-Base + Slugging (OPS -.821), and Base on Balls (78).
Smoak is also tied for second with 32 Doubles, third in Slugging Percentage (.466), third in Runs (64), third in Runs Batted In (75) and fifth in Hits with 117. Not too shabby for a guy earning a modest $4.125 million this season and an affordable $6 million in 2019.
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Despite the Jays inter-division troubles this season, Smoak is hitting .324 with 6 homers versus the Boston Red Sox and .340 with 3 home runs against the New York Yankees. In 33 combined games, Smoak has knocked in 26 runs versus the beasts of the east.
With the Jays struggling in the standings for much of the season, there hasn’t been much chatter in regards to the numbers Smoak has continued to put up this season. The hulking first baseman has continued to build on his campaign last season where he finally put it all together hitting .270 with 38 bombs.
The Jays claimed Smoak off waivers in 2014 from the Seattle Mariners after the former 1st rounder struggled to make consistent contact. Another stealth move by former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos that has paid dividends.
This offseason the Blue Jays will undoubtedly explore dealing Smoak before he reaches free agency and possibly anointing Rowdy Tellez the first baseman of the future. For now, Smoak will continue to quietly mash his way up the AL leaderboards.