Smoak gets in your eyes

Rangers take Justin Smoak at #11, a guy who was expected to go higher.

BA's mock had him at #5 to the Giants.  He was #8 on their top 100 rankings, with this scouting report:

A switch-hitting first baseman with power, Smoak draws natural comparisons to Mark Teixiera. Drafted out of high school in the 16th round by the Athletics, he has started every game for South Carolina since arriving on the Columbia campus, doing nothing but produce. After batting .303 with 17 home runs, Smoak earned Freshman All-America honors. He followed that with a .315 batting average and 22 home runs in his sophomore year—enough to be tabbed as a third team All-American. He also competed for Team USA last summer. As a first baseman, Smoak has Gold Glove-caliber actions and soft hands. His footwork and instincts around the bag are advanced and his arm strength is adequate. As a hitter, he is consistent from both sides of the plate, and he has superior pitch recognition. A power threat against any pitch, Smoak has the ability to hit to all fields. Smoak proved his power translates to wood when he hit 11 home runs in 39 games while playing in the Cape Cod League following his freshman year, though he struggled with Team USA last summer. He is thought to be the best combination of offense and defense at first base in this draft class.

Kevin Goldstein says of the pick:

Congrats Rangers fans, you just found your replacement for Mark Teixeira. Just a crazy, crazy steal. The Rangers could have picked fourth or fifth and not done better.

Bryan Smith says:

Justin Smoak and Josh Hamilton. The AL West might just have found their Bash Brothers, v. 2.0.

Keith Law ranked him #3 overall, ahead of Hosmer and Alvarez, and projected him to go #8.  Goldstein also had him going #8.

 

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