There were many unforeseeable aspects about the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2017, but Justin Smoak’s ascension to one of the league’s premiere power hitters was the most unpredictable.
Practically no one saw his 2017 breakout coming – maybe the Blue Jays’ front office – but it’s been one of the better stories surrounding the Blue Jays in what has otherwise been a disappointing season.
Whenever a player goes from the fringes of a Major League roster to 38 home runs, there are a lot of questions about how and why a player is able to make that big of a turnaround. The man with the best explanation? Smoak himself.
In this video below, Smoak takes a deep dive into the swing changes he made with Brook Jacoby entering the 2017 season. These changes seem pretty minor to the naked eye, but Smoak has been able to parlay those adjustments into a monster season in Toronto.
If the video looks a little wonky, it’s because it’s a VR video and you’re able to tilt it around 360 degrees.
I couldn’t help but notice that Smoak got very Josh Donaldson-esque in the batter’s box when he was explaining his swing. The dialogue is very “hitterish”.
After watching this video, I’m buying into the changes Smoak has made this year and if he carries this forward into 2018, I don’t see why he can’t duplicate similar results at the plate next season.