One-on-one with Justin Smoak - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

One-on-one with Justin Smoak

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Stratford High grad Justin Smoak is entering his fifth year in the major leagues. Last year before the All Star break was the best he's played in his career.

However, after the break it was quite the opposite tale.

Now he's working out in Charleston with the Citadel Bulldogs and hoping to make it through a full 162-game season.

"By the end of October, I started working out again, getting in there four days a week, picked up a bat by the end of November. I got swings in at The Citadel. Coach Jordan is kind enough to let me come out, so it's been good," Smoak said.

With these guys, he's just one of the guys. In Seattle, he's a guy an entire city is leaning on for quality innings at first base.

"It depends, some days you go out and nobody knows who you are. Other days, 10 people will. Now we won the Super Bowl. It's big -- everyone in Seattle is into it. Picking up Robinson Cano, having a few other guys, everyone is excited for baseball season," he said.

And for Smoak, the key to a productive body of work is in producing a healthy body when he arrives at camp.

"If I stay healthy and stay on the field, good things will happen. I've worked on things on both sides of the plate, so struggles aren't so bad," he said.

Spring camp will be all about competition. The Mariners are bringing in two other guys who can play first base.

"Going in there knowing it's my job and I know what I'm capable of doing. If I do it, I don't have to worry about anything," Smoak said.

All he's worried about now is another few days at home, just being Justin.

  • Scott Eisberg

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