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Dodgers: Catcher Will Smith Feeling ‘Locked In’ This Playoffs

Smith credits slowing the game down and pitch recognition for his recent playoff success.



At the ripe old age of 26, Dodgers catcher Will Smith is already a playoff veteran. Smith is thriving offensively this October. Entering Sunday’s NLCS Game 2, Smith had homered in three of the Dodgers seven playoff games.

Smith provided a simple reason for why he’s been able to excel as a hitter so far.

“I feel good in the box. Swing feels locked in. Swing at the right pitches, that’s what I try to focus on.”

In Smith’s first eight playoff games, he had one hit in 24 at-bats. That’s a catastrophic .042 batting average. Now, he’s no longer overwhelmed in the batter’s box and he explained why:

“In the postseason, you have to slow everything down. Whether it’s an at-bat, take a breath, relax…you have to be able to slow the game down and let it the game come to you.”

He leads the Dodgers in home runs (3), walks (8), and OPS (1.389) to go along with a .333 average this postseason.

Dave Roberts on Will Smith

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts took a step further in his own pregame presser. Roberts believes Smith’s combination of offense and defense makes him one of the best backstops in the league.

“There’s very few guys that you can hit in the middle, top part of the order, of a championship caliber team who’s a receiver as well. For me, he’s a top three catcher in baseball. Hands down, and that’s an easy conversation for me.”

Roberts also took note of Smith’s maturation and his ability to execute in key spots.

“…you layer on the heart beat, the pulse, he’s a heck of a player. Very intelligent guy, we don’t take it for granted.”

During an October where the Dodgers offense has been inconsistent, Smith’s hitting prowess has been more valuable than ever.

He hasn’t been a Dodger long, but Will Smith has the full confidence of his manager and has earned his role as the everyday catcher.

NEXT: Will Smith and Dave Roberts Talk about Mitigating Stolen Bases

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. His defense is not even in the top 15. People run on him like a damn turnstile. His tags are horrible at the plate and ihs blocks are ugly.

    • Mark, oh wow! Someone actually gets it! I’ve been saying for weeks that Smith’s defense will cost the Dodgers and everyone jumped on me. Hello.

  2. Ok DR bashers, maybe you guys are right. DR saying that Smith is a good defensive catcher? For real? Maybe he has lost his marbles. I mean the kid flat out rakes at the plate! Behind it? No way!

  3. I hope when prospect Diego Cartaya comes up, he will be good both offensively and defensively.

  4. Smith hopefully can play first or third when Cartaya is ready. Roberts has more in common with Forrest Gump than he does a manager in MLB

  5. I’m sticking with Smith. Outside of Urias, Dodger pitchers suck at holding runners – Jansen might as well award 2B to anyone who gets on – and Smith still grades 13th at throwing runners out. He allows too many pass balls but he’s only caught 220 games in the majors. He should stop obsessing about framing.

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