The Brewers found their first baseman this morning when the team announced that they had signed free agent, Justin Smoak, to a one-year, $5 million dollar deal. Smoak is somewhat of a risky option considering he didn’t have the best 2019 campaign, but fans should remember, the Eric Thames signing of 2017 was even riskier.
Last season, Justin Smoak hit .208 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs. However, even though he had a very low batting average, his on base percentage was a solid .342 which was only 4 points lower than Eric Thames’ from last season. Smoak’s best season came in 2017 when he made his first and only All-Star team. In 2017, he hit .270 with an OPS of .883. He also had 38 homers to go along with 90 RBIs.
By signing Justin Smoak, the Brewers got a switch hitter with a lot of power. He strikes out a lot but also gets walked a lot. With Smoak, it’s pretty much a strikeout, walk, home run, or double. A lot of Brewer fans are upset Milwaukee hasn’t re-signed Eric Thames, but they got a guy with the same amount of power and ability to get on base for a way lower price. Defensively, Brewer fans shouldn’t be worried about Smoak considering he is one of the better defensive first basemen in the league.
Justin Smoak is due for a bounce back year in 2020 and if that’s the case, the Brewers just got a steal of a signing. Don’t be surprised if Smoak ends the season batting around .275 with 25-ish home runs.