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Mallex Smith is one of the best hitters in baseball right now

Call it a hot streak, but there’s a reason he’s on top of the batting order

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Through the end of June Mallex Smith found himself sitting on a .266/.331/.349 line and 91 wRC+ through 272 plate appearances after being thrown into an everyday role after Kevin Kiermaier landed on the 60-day disabled list early in the season.

But over the last six weeks of play, Mallex Smith has been one of the best bats in the major leagues.

Top MLB Performers Since July 1 (Min 100 PA)

JD Martinez 185 0.344 0.427 0.681 0.455 191
Mallex Smith 154 0.383 0.458 0.586 0.443 189
Paul Goldschmidt 201 0.357 0.453 0.626 0.452 187
Khris Davis 193 0.310 0.368 0.713 0.441 186
Matt Carpenter 210 0.287 0.414 0.684 0.442 182

In 154 plate appearances Mallex Smith has been the second most productive bat by wRC+. He has hit 11 doubles, 5 triples, and 2 homers sporting a ISO over .203. He’s been successful on 12 of 14 stolen base attempts.

In no way is this a new level of offensive production for Smith. This is a hot streak and the same can be said of the other batters he finds in his company to lesser degrees.

How Smith has gotten here is through an increased walk rate, 11.0%, and decreased strikeout rate, 13.6%, combined with a .441 BABIP.

It’s an incredibly high BABIP that is helped by a 32.4% line drive rate and his hard hit rate is up to 34.2%. A .441 BABIP is quite toasty, but he has deserved a lot of the results he’s put up.

Smith’s current production has seen him moved to the top of the lineup since August 5.

Mallex Smith Dance
Dominik Vega

Rays fans have seen Mallex Smith dancing on the bases a lot recently. I didn’t realize he’s been this hot, and he deserves recognition for the run.

Mallex Smith has improved his year line to .307/.377/.433 line and 127 wRC+ while being worth 3.1 fWAR and 3.4 rWAR. He isn’t a MVP candidate like he looks to be during this extended hot streak, but this has been a ton of fun to watch.