Former Stratford Knight and South Carolina Gamecock product Justin Smoak is on the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career. The rosters were announced Sunday night.
Smoak will start at first base for the American League.
He's having a career year for the Toronto Blue Jays having already set a career-high with 22 home runs and is batting .303.
"I think it's something that as young kid you always dreamed of," Smoak said to the Blue Jays website. "That's what you want to be, an All-Star in the big leagues. I think early on 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."
"I worked so hard to try and change a lot of different things, to get better," said Smoak, who added he was asked to participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby but declined. "At one point, a few times I even forgot how I used to hit. I think I've learned from that. I think I've made some adjustments and I feel like I'm back to feeling the way I was feeling when I was a kid, as an amateur, as a guy in the Minor Leagues. I feel like I'm getting back to that point now."
The All-Star game is July 11th in Miami.