Will Smith

© Sarah Morris, 2020

Since the Los Angeles Dodger catcher Will Smith produces much offense, many Dodger fans love Smith. He works hard on his defense and how he handles the pitching staff. Smith helped the Dodgers to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS when he became the first catcher to have five hits in a postseason game in Game 5.

On May 27, 2019, the Dodgers promoted Smith when Barnes suffered an oblique strain. From the start, Smith’s offensive skills caught everyone’s eye. Despite becoming less offensively effective in the late season, Smith had a .253 batting average and a .337 on-base percentage with 15 home runs and 42 RBI in 54 games. In the abbreviated 2020 season, even with his first trip to the Injured List due to a stiff neck, Smith played in 37 games, and he had a .289 batting average, a .401 on-base percentage, 8 home runs, and 25 RBI. Smith’s offensive production forced manager Dave Roberts to use him as a DH.

Smith is a nimble catcher. He can field infield ground balls and flyballs well. His strong accurate throwing arm enabled him to throw out 22.7% of potential base stealers. Smith can block wild pitches magnificently and allowed one passed ball. Some pitchers like to throw to Smith though he can get down to make a low target. Because of Smith’s inexperience, he lets the rate of the game increase, and this was evident during the ninth inning in Game 4 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Smith should have a bright future with the Dodgers, but Keibert Ruiz, another rookie catcher for the Dodgers, threatens Smith’s position. Having catching depth is a luxury for any franchise.

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