Will Smith was easily one of the Dodgers’ best bats in the 2020 season. So much so that Dave Roberts was willing to get him into the lineup at DH on days that Austin Barnes caught. That means that LA wanted his bat in there so bad, that they were willing to risk losing the DH if Barnes were to get hurt in those games.
Smith slashed .289/.401/.579 with a .980 OPS during the 2020 season, and that was with luck working against him. He hit balls hard all year long, but his BABIP didn’t work in his favor for the first couple of weeks of the season. Luckily, the Dodgers backstop started to find holes and miss gloves eventually.
Smith got to show the baseball world what he could in the NLDS by putting up ridiculous numbers in a series sweep over the Padres. In that 3-game series, he went 5-for-11(.455) and drove in a few runs, in addition to drawing 3 walks. Because of all this, the Dodgers catcher was ranked the third-best in the entire league by MLB Network.
The only two guys to finish ahead of Smith was free-agent J.T. Realmuto and the White Sox’ Yasmani Grandal. Admittedly, Smith’s defense still leaves room for improvement. He rated out near the bottom of the league in pitch-framing and only threw out 23 percent of base stealers for the Dodgers.
If anything, that should serve as a reminder of how good his bat can be for this Dodgers lineup. If his defense still needs to be worked on and he comes in at third, he’s gotta have one heck of an offensive approach.
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