The Dodgers look to be in a prime position to make a championship run this year. On paper, they have one of the best lineups in baseball heading into the 2022 season. That’s part of the reason that Baseball Prospectus has them winning 102 games this year, by far the most projected wins in the league.
But as baseball fans know, the game is not played on paper. It falls on the Dodgers to make things come together and to get this lineup moving in the right direction. You can have all of the talents in the world and still fail dramatically without proper preparation.
But the Dodgers have set themselves up nicely, particularly with their depth this year. So much so that FanGraphs has them at number one at catcher, a position that has been dominated by two guys in Los Angeles for the last couple of years.
Fangraphs has Will Smith projected to put up a 3.7 WAR with positive defensive numbers. They also have him putting up an OPS of .855 and positive defensive numbers. Smith crushed 25 homeruns last season for the Dodgers and had one of the best hard-hit percentages combined with some of the worst luck over the last two seasons.
Meanwhile, Austin Barnes is projected to put up a 1.0 WAR and even better defensive numbers. The Dodgers will go to Barnes on days that Clayton Kershaw pitches, and likely on days to get Smith off of his feet. The universal DH being implemented gives Doc a little more freedom to interchange those guys.