Justin Smoak hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire since coming to the Mariners. He was just 1-12 going into today’s game. Now we all know that we have to be patient. But it’s hard isn’t it? We just traded the greatest pitcher ever! But this is what we have to watch, and this picture explains why there’s nothing to worry about with that .208 batting average Smoak is sporting right now.
Pitch number 3 in the picture is a 77 mph change up. Smoak swung and missed. One of the big question marks in Smoak’s short development is that he can’t handle the soft stuff, especially low and away. Since he’s a switch hitter, this means pitchers have been burying these change ups on him over and over and over and over on him. Basically all of his strike outs have come from these pitches, so it is really encouraging to see him take pitch number 4 (a 77 mph change up lower and MORE away) and park it into the right field bleachers. The future is bright.