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Given Chris Davis' second half in 2009 and the progress he made following his initial demotion, you would have thought the Rangers had given him a longer leash for 2010. This is not the case, though, as he has now been optioned to the minors with Justin Smoak called up to replace him at first. The question is whether or not he can perform well enough in 2010 to merit your attention before he picks up a plate appearance.

Smoak was hitting .300/.470/.540 over his first 50 at-bats in the minors this year–it's a small sample, for sure, but it's better looking than the .244/.366/.360 showing he had for Oklahoma last year in 232 PA. Sometimes it's easier to believe a stretch like this for a young player is them "getting" it, whereas with a veteran in the majors we would roll our eyes and include them in a Don't Believe The Hype piece if it was merited. The Rangers think Smoak has been having good at-bats at Triple-A, at-bats that have resulted in some quality offensive numbers. He's picked up 16 walks and whiffed just eight times, which is the same number of extra-base hits he has. These aren't enough of a sample to determine if his strikeout and walk rates are going to look like that, but given his popularity as a prospect, we don't have time to worry about that sort of thing if you want him.

Due to Smoak's struggles at Triple-A last year, PECOTA wasn't too enthused about his success in the majors this year. His weighted-mean is .263/.356/.424, but his 90th percentile of .287/.394/.477 is not just a quality showing but something he should easily be capable of if his recent performance at Triple-A is for real, and not just due to a 50 AB sample. You have to remember that PECOTA also isn't aware that his timing was messed up in Triple-A due to a strained oblique–chances are good, given his Double-A performance, that sans strained oblique he would continued to hit exceptionally at Oklahoma last year. With that in mind, I wouldn't mind considering his 90th percentile to be more like his 70th—he could eek out a SLG close to .500 if things go well this year—given his comparables—Baseball Prospectus 2010 stated that he's something akin to a switch-hitting Justin Morneau. There's no reason you shouldn't snag him off of the waiver wire or FAAB if he's still available.

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mwball75
4/23
Haven't seen an article titled: Where there's Smoak...
mwball75
4/25
Bingo! http://games.espn.go.com/frontpage
hjw099
4/23
Smoak on the water.
mwball75
4/23
Smoak em if ya got em.
rawagman
4/23
cause if you ain't got 'em, you've hit rock bottom.
SaberTJ
4/23
He Smoaked that ball.
Jmast7
4/23
Texas should trade Smoak to the Yankees, just to make John Sterling's head explode at all the home run call possibilities.
irablum
4/23
Sure.... We'll take that problem child of a third baseman in trade. if you could only pay some of his salary...... (like say about $100 million)
wendtm
4/23
As long as he's not Smoak and mirrors.
mwball75
4/23
Good one, if he bombs: Where there's Smoak... there's mirrors.
crperry13
4/23
Smoakin'! Smoakin'! Helping the Rangers to keep from choking...
ahemmer
4/23
nice Lost reference for those of you who don't watch the show.
yankeehater32
4/23
I don't watch the show, but I still love that nickname. And I'm so pro-nickname that I couldn't help myself.
davelamb
4/23
When your heart's on fire, you must realize, Smoak gets RBIs.
wendtm
4/23
Quality.
BallparkFan
4/23
Ron Washington: "I need a Smoak."
davelamb
4/23
I've got #1 waiver priority in my league. Who do I drop for Smoak -- looking for overall 5x5 production? Maybin, Gardner, Rasmus, none of the above. (I also have Cuddyer & can play him at 1b/OF)
Kinanik
4/23
I would vote Maybin. Gardner's superior and you'll still have speed.
deanmara
4/23
Surgeon General's Warning: Smoaking Can be Hazardous to Your Health
will1331
4/24
How much of your $100 budget do you spend on Smoak? 14 team 5x5 mixed league?