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Scott Pianowski

Texas Smoak: Rangers make a change at first base

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Patience is a word that's thrown around plenty during the opening month of the baseball season. Don't overreact to a small sample, don't read too much into two or three weeks of results.

Sounds nice in theory, but the Texas Rangers aren't buying it.

The Rangers gave us a major personnel change earlier in the month (Neftali Feliz(notes) to the ninth, Frank Francisco(notes) to set-up) and they were at it again Thursday night, sending Chris Davis(notes) down and promoting touted 1B Justin Smoak(notes). Davis's performance on the field prompted the move: he's at .188 following an 0-for-3 Thursday, with 17 strikeouts over 48 at-bats. A .292 slugging percentage and one RBI through 15 games doesn't feed the cat.

Smoak was the 11th overall pick in the 2008 draft and he's been compared to Mark Teixeira(notes) for a while, though his power hasn't developed as quickly as most expected. He was off to a strong start in Triple-A (.326/.500/.587, 16 walks against six strikeouts) and you can't blame the Rangers for wanting to give him a shot now. Even in shallow leagues, this is the type of player you should grab immediately if he's available. Arlington is a fun place to spend your summer, especially if you're an offensive player.

We could write more, but right now, the news is the thing. Go do what you need to do. (Here's a projection to get you started: .285-69-16-74-0, $11. And if it comes down to a choice between Smoak and Ike Davis(notes), I'd take Smoak.)

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