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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Grade Justin Smoak’s first half

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Last season, after several pretty crappy seasons, Justin Smoak became a star. One that the Blue Jays badly needed.

This year, he hasn’t quite been the same player. Not that he’s been bad. His wRC+ last year was 132. At this point this year, 123. His OPS+ dropped has dropped from 129 to 123. Not a huge drop, but enough to downgrade him from an All-Star to an ok first baseman.

He’s actually getting on base a little better than last year, but the power has dropped. After the Jays’ 89th game last year, he had 23 home runs. This year he has 12.

Justin does seem to be a streak hitter, at least for home runs. When he’s going good he’ll rattle off 6 homers in a week. Or at least he would in the past. This year he hasn’t had one of those hot stretches, at least not yet. I’m hoping he’s got one or two in him for the second half.

His base running has been impressively bad this year. Last year FanGraphs estimates he cost the team 3.1 runs over the season (compared to an average runner). This year, to this point, he’s cost us 5.5 runs, which would be second worst in the AL to Wilson Ramos (7.2 runs below average). Yangervis Solarte is sitting 3rd from the bottom. Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin are 5th and 6th from the bottom.

I like Justin’s defense. He catches just about everything thrown at him. I don’t think he has a lot of range at the position, but then that’s why guys play first, because they don’t have range to play other spots.


For the first half I would grade Justin Smoak an

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