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J Smoak

Postby bigwords » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:54 pm

Hey, is it possible that Smoak is a tad overrated?

Obviously, he has the potential to be great, but his numbers so far in the minors are good but not spectacular. Considering his age, the fact that it's a hitter's league, lower-than-expected power so far, a lot of strikeouts....does he really deserve to be cited as a top 5 prospect?

I'm not so sure.

There may be a lot about this kid that reminds people of Mark Teixeira, and he could go on to have a great career, but yet, he's been, um, a little underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber. What am I missing?
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Re: J Smoak

Postby J35J » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:41 pm

bigwords wrote:Hey, is it possible that Smoak is a tad overrated?

Most prospects are overrated. With that said this is Smoaks first full year in the pros and he's been moved right on up to AAA fairly quickly. I think he'll be fine....I wouldn't really put him top 5 though.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby nate128 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:54 am

I have this same argument with many fantasy baseball players. The guy has shown nothing in the minors so far, yet he gets mega love based on his potential from when he was drafted. I'd let others value him high and go after other underrated first base prospects who have at least shown something in the minors.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby mblax10 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:06 pm

bigwords wrote: Considering his age


It doesn't look like you considered his age. He's 21, with just over a year of pro experience and already in AAA. His K rate is not high for this stage of his career. Good luck finding another power hitter in his first full season with a K Rate below 20%. In fact, good luck finding many guys in their 1st full season under 20% once you take out slap hitting types and college guys playing in rookie ball.

As far as him doing nothing in the minors, that's absurd. He mashed in A ball last year and AA this year, that's why he's in AAA already. He had more BB's than K's in AA, and only slightly more K's in the other 2 leagues. Add in the scouts that drool over this kid and there's not another 1B prospect I'd take over Smoak.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby bigwords » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:06 am

I'm not saying he's not a good prospect, I'm only questioning whether he might not be one of the top 5 prospects in baseball. Indeed, on their top 25 prospects at midseason list in July, Baseball America listed him at #4.

Unless MILB.com has his birthdate wrong, he's not 21. He's 22 and will be 23 in December. He's played college ball so he's expected to be slightly more advanced than a lot of the other amateurs who were drafted in the 2008 draft.

He also plays 1b. As a result, because of the offensive production at the position in the majors and the limited defensive value of the position, he should be expected to put up eye-popping numbers. A guy like Joey Votto when coming through the minors was never a top 25 prospect for that reason.

You say, "good luck finding another power hitter in his first full season with a K Rate below 20%." Well, Alonso, Posey, Cooper, and G. Beckham would be a few examples. I only went through the first round. I'm sure there are others.

Also, if the criteria was slightly different — players who are younger than Smoak who have a strikeout rate below 20% and as many or more HRs in the minors, I bet you'd find guys. Matt Dominguez, for example.

Smoak may turn into a great ballplayer, but if he was called up to the majors today, are you confident he'd be good? After all, he's only hitting .244/.363/.360 in Triple A. Doesn't seem like he's quite ready. Compare that to what Posey (three months older, #6 on BA's list) is doing in Triple A and there's no comparison. Smoak seems to be putting in a performance that's more comparable with someone like Nicholas Weglarz.
Last edited by bigwords on Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby nate128 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:44 am

mblax10 wrote:
bigwords wrote:

As far as him doing nothing in the minors, that's absurd. He mashed in A ball last year and AA this year, that's why he's in AAA already. He had more BB's than K's in AA, and only slightly more K's in the other 2 leagues. Add in the scouts that drool over this kid and there's not another 1B prospect I'd take over Smoak.


I wouldn't exactly say that he mashed in A ball last year. He had 14 games in the minors last year and didn't do anything eye popping. I agree that he was having a good season in AA this year - not mashing as he was on pace for just under 20 home runs - but it is obvious that he is overmatched in AAA right now. Sure his K/BB is still strong, but hitting under .250 in 200 at bats is not stellar. I'm not saying that he is garbage or anything, but just that he doesn't deserve the hype that he is currently getting. I think him being a switch hitter and playing in Texas has more to do with the hype than his actual skill set.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby mblax10 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:38 pm

nate128 wrote:
mblax10 wrote:
bigwords wrote:

As far as him doing nothing in the minors, that's absurd. He mashed in A ball last year and AA this year, that's why he's in AAA already. He had more BB's than K's in AA, and only slightly more K's in the other 2 leagues. Add in the scouts that drool over this kid and there's not another 1B prospect I'd take over Smoak.


I wouldn't exactly say that he mashed in A ball last year. He had 14 games in the minors last year and didn't do anything eye popping. I agree that he was having a good season in AA this year - not mashing as he was on pace for just under 20 home runs - but it is obvious that he is overmatched in AAA right now. Sure his K/BB is still strong, but hitting under .250 in 200 at bats is not stellar. I'm not saying that he is garbage or anything, but just that he doesn't deserve the hype that he is currently getting. I think him being a switch hitter and playing in Texas has more to do with the hype than his actual skill set.


The hype was there long before Texas drafted him. If you look back at the scouting reports before and after last year's draft, most had Smoak as the top 1B ahead of Hosmer, Alonso, etc and even listed him as one of the most advanced hitters on the draft. He gets credit for being a switch hitter because he can actually hit lefties unlike some guys like Alonso. Smoak is also a gold glove caliber defender. The only thing the hype has done was make some people think he'd be in Texas this fall which hopefully was never in the plan.

Forget the avg for now, he's hit over .300 at every other stop. Even HR's for minor leaguers are not a good indicator unless a guy is putting up eye popping numbers because doubles by a 20 year old often turn into HR's by a 25 year old. Look at his walk & K rate, OBP & SLUG. Those were all very good before he moved up to AAA and are moving towards respectable in AAA. Again, he's 21 in AAA. Age is a very important thing when looking at prospects numbers.

And yes, I would consider 304/355/518 (even if it's only over 62 PA) from a drafted player in A ball, followed by 353/468/588 in 51 AFL AB's & 328/449/481 from a 21 year old make his full-season debut in AA very impressive. He's struggling a little in AAA, but when you look at his peripherals it's more likely to be a result of bad luck on balls in play than being overmatched. Guys with 45 K/35 BB are not overmatched.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby Montana168 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:25 pm

anyone know why is listed on the temporary inactive list on milb.com? is he dealing with some other personal issues, i'm assuming? he hasn't played in a game since the 29th. his chance at being a september callup seems like a long shot at this point, especially with davis showing some potential since his recall.

on a side note, it looks like we're not going to see many of these big time prospects in sept. guys everyone was hoping for (even though some were a longshot) like jennings, smoak, heyward, bumgarner, hellickson, davis, all look like they are going to stay in the minors the rest of the year...which is very dissappointing for dynasty leaguers out there.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby mblax10 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:17 am

He's playing with Team USA in the World Cup.
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Re: J Smoak

Postby bazzy_51 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:17 pm

Montana168 wrote:anyone know why is listed on the temporary inactive list on milb.com? is he dealing with some other personal issues, i'm assuming? he hasn't played in a game since the 29th. his chance at being a september callup seems like a long shot at this point, especially with davis showing some potential since his recall.

on a side note, it looks like we're not going to see many of these big time prospects in sept. guys everyone was hoping for (even though some were a longshot) like jennings, smoak, heyward, bumgarner, hellickson, davis, all look like they are going to stay in the minors the rest of the year...which is very dissappointing for dynasty leaguers out there.


So, so far 1/3 of your players listed have hit the bigs. Davis and Bumgarner are both up and pitching and I wouldn't be surprised to see Hellickson up before its all said and done with. I will admit tho I was really hoping to see one of the two between Heyward or Jennings this year but its very likely that neither, like you said, will make it to the bigs this year.
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