Smoak gets his long-awaited shot to take the field with MLB’s best

Image courtesy of Sportsnet.ca

By Shi Davidi, Sportsnet.ca, July 2, 2017 

TORONTO – In the spring when Ross Atkins described Justin Smoak playing first base every day as the “best-case scenario” for the Toronto Blue Jays, the general manager simply hoped the switch-hitter would be somewhat productive at the plate and play strong defence.

Instead, the 30-year-old former first-rounder delivered an all-star-calibre first half, rewarded Sunday with the nod as the starting first baseman for the American League in the Midsummer Classic. With a slash line of .303/.370/.594 along with 22 homers and 52 RBIs so far, Smoak has not only exceeded the expectations of others for 2017, but even his own.

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