Draft Central

Justin Smoak (Credit: Tony Farlow/MLB.com)

Biographical Data
Player Name:Justin Smoak
Position:First Baseman
School:University of South Carolina
School Type:College
Academic Class:Junior
Weight:220 lbs.
Report Date(s):03/14 - 03/16/08
Game(s):Vanderbilt University

Focus Area
Hitting Ability:Smoak has a real and easy swing and gets coverage through the entire hitting area.
Power:He's got plus power now and in the future, from both sides of the plate. He could be a 35-40 homer guy at the big-league level.
Running Speed:He's below average, with heavy legs. He's a bit stiff and knock-kneed.
Base running:Thanks to some good instincts, he's not quite a base clogger.
Arm Strength:He's got an average arm, but it's good enough for first base.
Fielding:He's not bad around the base with good hands.
Range:The lack of footspeed and heavy lower half provide very limited range.
Physical Description:Smoak has a large frame with a thick lower half. His upper body is pretty loose and moves easily.
Medical Update:Healthy.
Strengths:The bat, both for average and power, from both sides of the plate.
Weaknesses:Below-average speed and he's limited defensively to first base.
Summary:There are a number of top-notch college first basemen in this year's class and Smoak is right at the top of the list. That's because he's got a smooth and easy swing that generates plenty of power from both sides of the plate. This isn't college power; it will translate just fine to the pro game. He can't run and is limited to first base defensively, but there will be more than enough bat to make up for those shortcomings.