There's been some antsyness regarding Justin Smoak lately and curious what was driving his plummeting offensive stats, I looked at some monthly splits.
There's both good and bad news in there. Namely, the declining walk plus hit by pitch rate is frowny news, but I'm not convinced that's worth getting worked up over since one single more walk in July and it becomes 11%. Similarly, I do not think much of the strikeout or the home run rates, but I included them for opposite reasons. The strikeouts have seemed like a lot lately, but actually they bounce around a ton and were quite down in June. The home runs are pretty consistent and since I do not think Justin Smoak has suddenly lost power this month, should rebound and a Justin Smoak hitting home runs makes it a lot easier for us to feel better about Justin Smoak.
The batted ball stuff is the key I feel. Smoak's numbers for reaching base on his balls in play (RBBIP) has fallen each month and since May they have cratered. However, there's been no reason for them to do so. Smoak was certainly lucky to post a number in the .320s in April. He's not quick enough to maintain a rate that high, but upper 200s seems legit given his strength. If/when he gets back up to that level, I imagine much of our collective fretting about Smoak will go away.