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Dodgers 2020 Grades: Will Smith, Austin Barnes, Ruiz! Who’s the Next Great Catcher in LA?



After winning their first World Series title in 32 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers season is now complete! Now it’s time to start handing out grades for the 2020 season and for the second third of this series, we take a look at the Dodgers catchers.

Note: these grades include the regular season and postseason.

We hand out grades and assess the 2020 campaigns for Will Smith, Austin Barnes, Keibert Ruiz, and more! Plus, a look at the future for each Dodger backstop, and is Will Smith the next great Dodgers catcher? 

Here are our end-of-season grades for the 2020 Dodgers catching core:

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For the Dodgers, especially in the playoffs, their catching core may have been second to none in baseball. Do you think LA is set at catcher for years to come with Will Smith, or would you like to see Keibert Ruiz get some shots in 2021? Let me know in the comments below!

Grading Scale:

  • A = Elite
  • B = Baller
  • C = Average
  • D = Dude Get It Together
  • F = Fail

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NEXT: Dodgers 2020 Infield Grades – Seager, Turner, Lux, Muncy, Hernández, Taylor, Rios, and more!

Written by Doug McKain

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  1. Barnes and Pollack were the comeback players of the year. Smith also made a significant comeback from his offensive tailspin at the end of 2019. Barnes relearned how to hit at the Mookie Betts Baseball Academy, and probably saved his career. Smith went from a totally anemic 2019 postseason to a very opportunistic 2020 postseason with timely hitting.

    The Dodgers improved at the catcher spot more than any team in baseball in 2020 with no personnel changes. We went from weak to strong in a year. Are the Dodgers great at the catcher spot? No. But they’re solid for the first time since Yasmani Grandal left.

  2. Will Smith has great plate discipline, good bat to ball ability, and crushes it. Whatever numbers he put up were actually undermined by way more than his share of smashes that found gloves. He’s the real thing, and could break out for real this coming season. If Barnes keeps it up from this past season, he’s as good an all around second catcher as you could want. Ruiz may be over-rated as a prospect due to success at a young age in the lower minors. He was not great in AA, has both strengths and weaknesses defensively, seems gifted at making contact, but so far, weak contact. Compared to Smith and Barnes, he is slow and weak armed. He could develop, but as far as i can see, nothing to get super excited about.

  3. A+ for Austin Barnes, no question about it. All four wins in the World Series had Barnes behind the plate, he was the MVP of the series, in my arrogant opinion. When he tagged out Margot stealing home, all those Sons of B’s on the Rays sh$t in their pants, they were so scared they stopped stealing on him, LOL.

  4. Dodgers are in good shape at catcher for the regular season . Now when the playoffs start this is when I start to get real concerned, because if we have to face a
    Real good team with a lot of speed we are in trouble if pitching is giving up the BB or hits . I just don’t feel smith and Barnes will stop a running game unless they get serious help from the pitching . GO DODGERS

  5. Will Smith deserves an A! The kid is golden and the next super star! The next best catcher/ home run hitter!

  6. B+ for both Austin Barnes and Will Smith If the grades were only for the playoffs, then I would give Austin Barnes an A.
    Austin was an elite catcher in the playoffs. Buehler and Kershaw are much more aggressive pitchers with Barnes catching.

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