Point: As I write this Justin Smoak has a .wOBA of .341, higher than Kendrys Morales (.339), a player the majority of the fanbase seems intent on attempting to retain past this year.
Counterpoint: In 1660 PA in the major leagues Justin Smoak has been worth 0.3 fWAR.
Pro: Since May 1st Justin Smoak is sporting a .275/.383/.486 triple slash line.
Con: In the first 33 games of 2011 Justin Smoak hit .315/.413/.576 and finished the season at .234/.323/.396.
Hooray: Justin Smoak has seen a more than 4% uptick in his walk rate from last year (9.2% to 13.4%) and his pitch recognition appears, at least to this layman, improved.
Nay: Justin Smoak, while certainly not incapable of a leap in ability at 26 would definitely fall in the "late bloomer" bucket if he is indeed figuring things out. In fact he is a scant 8 months younger than fellow former Rangers' 1st basemen/current MVP frontrunner Chris Davis.
With Smoak the conversation is often influenced by his pedigree (11th overall draft pick in 2008) and being the centerpiece for Cliff Flippin' Lee back in 2010. He has teased with glimpses of being a star but never sustained it longer than 40 games are so. But, as we find him bedeviling yet again I am intrigued to know the opinion of you, faithful, smart and beautiful reader of Lookout Landing. Please vote in the below poll: