USC's Justin Smoak Reflects Before First All-Star Game

COLUMBIA, SC - Former Gamecock and now MLB All-star Justin Smoak is having a marvelous season for the Toronto Blue Jays. Things are falling into place for Smoak who is enjoying his best season after being in the majors for 7 years.

The Goose Creek native leads the Blue Jays batting average hitting 294. He has 23 homers which is sixth best in all of baseball. He only had 14 last year. He also has 56 rbis.

"That's what you want to be an all-star in the big leagues and you know I think early in my career coming up through the minor leagues, getting drafted, that's what I expected of myself. It didn't happen that way but I'm here now and I'm excited to be a part of it," Smoak said.

Smoak will start at first base for the American League in the All-Star game and he says this season is a culmination of how he's approached the game.

"I work so hard to try to change a lot of different things to get better and you know at one point, a few times, I even forgot how I used to hit and I think I learned from that," Smoak added. "I think I've made some adjustments and feel like I'm back to feeling the way I always felt as a kid, as an amateur, as a guy in the minor leagues and I feel like I'm getting back to that point now.

The All-Star game is this Tuesday night in Miami at Marlins Park. The Home Run Derby is Monday night.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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