Justin Smoak: Smoak was the 11th overall pick in the draft, from the University of South Carolina. I thought this was a great bargain for the Rangers; I loved his bat and had him ranked ahead of all college hitters except Alvarez and Buster Posey before the draft. He got off to a great start at Double-A Frisco, hitting .328/.449/.481 with 39 walks and just 35 strikeouts in 183 at-bats. However, he strained an oblique muscle in June, and while he came back quickly he wasn’t the same afterward. The Rangers promoted him aggressively to Triple-A Oklahoma City where he hit .244/.363/.360 in 54 games, continuing to show good plate discipline but lacking power. Overall he hit .290/.410/.443 with 12 homers, 75 walks, and 81 strikeouts in 386 at-bats. I still like Smoak a lot, and suspect that the oblique hampered his performance much of the summer. He retained command of the strike zone even when struggling. However, hopes that he would be ready in 2010 have to be tempered; he’ll need more Triple-A time.