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Where There's Smoak, There's Something

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Hello, and welcome to a straight re-post of something I just put up at FanGraphs! I don't mean a re-post of the entire body content -- I mean a post with a link. This is not the post where you will read a thousand words about the possibly new and improved Justin Smoak. This is the post where you will read a thousand words about the possibly new and improved Justin Smoak.

People have been asking me for a few days to whip up comparison .gifs of Justin Smoak's swings before and after getting sent to Tacoma. I made four such .gifs, and you can find them over at FanGraphs. I would've included them here as something of a visual teaser, but at present SB Nation seems to be having a devil of a time getting images to work properly. I can't select an image for this post and I can't upload or import images for the body. I'm sure it'll be fixed in no time at all but on second thought, nothing can be fixed in no time at all, there's no such actual thing as a Zack Morris time out. Even if there were, time is still passing for Zack Morris in a way, even if it isn't passing for everyone else. I feel like I might've made this exact joke before. I better call a Zack Morris time out and check before I make this post public.

When I went to FanGraphs and looked at the September leaderboards -- actually, first, do you know wRC+? I've referred to wRC+ a few times. It's basically just a better version of OPS+. Do you know OPS+? Look it up. So, when I went to FanGraphs and looked at the September leaderboards, I noticed that Justin Smoak has posted the highest wRC+ in baseball this month. Which means that Justin Smoak has been the best hitter in baseball this month. That's Justin Smoak that we're talking about. There's a reason why people have been so floored by his recent stretch of Bondsian offense. He was absolutely terrible and now he is not.

Because I can't give you a visual teaser, I'll give you a word teaser -- Smoak's swing is different, from the left side, which we already knew because plenty of people have written about it and asked Justin Smoak about it. You can watch the .gifs to your heart's content. Nothing seems markedly different from the right side, but, well, that's discussed in the FanGraphs article and I don't need to repeat myself here.

You're curious about Justin Smoak. I just wrote about Justin Smoak somewhere else. Check it out! Is the Justin Smoak breakout for real, and is Justin Smoak once again established as the Mariners' first baseman of the future? Find your answer at FanGraphs.*

* it is an unsatisfying answer