Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 10/22/14
Timberrrr No everyone, your eyes are not deceiving you. The legend himself, Justin Smoak, has finally arrived. Technically he arrived to the Seattle Mariners in 2010. But anyone who lives near the state of Washington is likely aware of how he has done since joining the organization. Justin Smoak has shown glimpses of the highly touted prospect he was supposed to be, but never kept it going. One would say he lacks consistency, but he was actually very consistently terrible. However, I truly believe the young man has come into his own since returning from the disabled list. And the numbers show it. Deja Vu This isn’t the first time Smoak has hit a streak. Last season, Smokey was sent down to AAA Tacoma in late July following another length of porous performances. Before the option, he was hitting .189 with an OBP of .253 and .320 slugging. He was recalled in mid-August, but still found his struggles at the plate — he hit .196 with .288 OBP and .294 SLG for the month. Trade talks arose, and the fanbase had given up on the 25-year-old. “The trade” was a failure. There was no defending it. Smoak was a bust — enter September… Just when you think he’s out, Smoak bounces back with an incredible September performance, hitting .338 with a .414 OBP and .584 SLG. Giving the fanbase hope, and the organization just enough evidence that there just may be something to the kid. So what makes this stint any different? The Brass Tacks When you look at the numbers, there isn’t much of a variation from his September showing. Since the reinstatement, Smoak is hitting .316 with a .397 OBP and .582 slugging. The legend himself, Justin Smoak, has finally arrived. If you want to see a difference from the two stints statistically, you aren’t going to find it. However, you can see it when he plays. His issues have always come down to the longevity of his swing. He was hyped as a switch-hitting powerhouse, yet never could get the barrel around to show any glimpse of strength through the ball. Not only has he increased his bat speed, but his timing is impeccable as well. He has found the barrel on the ball from both sides of the plate, and the pitches he was once late on and spiked to the short stop are now being driven into left field. The high fastballs that would be shallow pop-ups are being met with a quicker bat and landing in outfield gaps, or even the stands. He is hitting with confidence, and he isn’t hitting against just anyone. The pitching staffs the M’s have faced during Smoaks’ explosion are no scrubs. He has hit against the Pirates, A’s, Rangers, Reds and Red Sox. All of which are near the top of the list in team pitching statistics. What Does this Mean? So yes, Smoak has done this before. He has had his hot streaks, and then snapped them with long, ugly, arctic streaks. But this time is different. He isn’t hitting fourth or fifth in the lineup anymore. He isn’t being forced to produce power and lead these young players to a playoff push. He is simply a role player, and he is developing. Smoak is playing a great defensive first base and batting solid at the sixth or seventh position. Will he climb up the order if he keeps this up? There’s a possibility. I hope not, but there is that possibility. The beauty of it all is that the other young guns are giving the team so much hype, ol’ Smokey can just relax and focus on his game. Better himself, therefore bettering the team. The M’s are coming off of their first sweep of the season – and against the Angels, nonetheless. They now head in to the all-star break with a dangerous group of young, confident hitters who are hungry for that next step. The only that remains is: Will they take it? CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEATTLE MARINERS CLUBHOUSE AT NWSB!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Would World Series win make the Giants a dynasty?

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.