After the first round of All-Star voting came to an end, the Dodgers were left with five players still in the running for a starting spot in this year’s festivities. And considering how many injuries this team has dealt with, this was no minor feat.
As the reigning National League champions, the Dodgers will send Dave Roberts to coach the NL squad once again, an honor that he has had twice in the previous three years as well. Roberts will have plenty of Dodgers on his roster come July 13th, but there is one glaring name that doesn’t seem likely to be included. When asked about the significance of having so many players make it to the final round, Roberts couldn’t help but focus on the absence of his starting catcher.
It’s exciting. I think the one [that didn’t make it] is Will Smith. Obviously that’s the fan’s vote, but hopefully the players get it right. I just don’t see how he’s not one of the top three catchers in the National League.
Buster Posey, Wilson Contreras, and Yadier Molina were all voted as finalists ahead of Will Smith this year. Each player has enjoyed an excellent first half so far, but have they all played better than the Dodgers’ young starter?
There have been a number of breakout seasons at the catching position this year, but when looking at the numbers, Dave Robert has a point. When it comes to many of the major statistics, Will Smith has consistently been among the best.
Will Smith’s Stats (NL Rank – min. 175 AB)
- AVG – .260 (4th)
- OBP – .363 (3rd)
- OPS – .828 (2nd)
- Hits – 52 (T-3rd)
- Walks – 27 (T-2nd)
- Runs – 34 (T-1st)
- HR – 9 (3rd)
- RBI – 27 (T-6th)
- 2B – 12 (T-3rd)
Any way you look at it, Smith has been having a great season offensively. Given that he’s had to split time behind the plat with Austin Barnes, you might even say that his ability to stay consistent is even more impressive.
Buster Posey and Wilson Contreras definitely deserve to be among the final three catchers, but Yadier Molina is a different story. While he’s enjoyed a rejuvenated season, Will Smith has him beat in most statistical categories.
Missing the final round of All-Star voting is unfortunate, but it doesn’t take away from what Smith has been able to accomplish in what will be his first full season in the majors. The future is bright for the Dodgers’ catcher, and there will be plenty of All-Star nominations in the coming years for the fresh prince.