The Dodgers have been hitting pay dirt with their rookies this season. First, Matt Beaty came up and has done nothing but hit. Most recently, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May have excelled in spot starts in the rotation. But in between there’s a guy that’s taken on the field’s most demanding role, and transformed a position of weakness to another strength for the 2019 ball club.
Moreover, the rookie catcher was the topic of discussion on MLB Network as industry expert Jon Morosi chatted with Lauren Shehadi about the Dodgers rookie catcher.
— Louisville Baseball (@LouisvilleBSB) August 8, 2019
Will Smith has earned some comparisons — early career — to Buster Posey. The composure, the poise, the talent — recently I checked with Dan McDonald, his head coach at the University of Louisville who talked about how ‘he was always so talented, but also a hard worker who never had any hint of entitlement.’
Assistant coach Eric Snider saying ‘confident but humble, very studious. He studied and read books on the bus.’
He has done everything the right way, and of course a key at-bat late in the game. And it’s that calm that I think has really impressed his peers with the Dodgers and around the league. The moment never seems to be too big for Will Smith; that’s why he’s become — as a rookie — the everyday catcher on a team that may well be the best in baseball.
High praise, but so far it’s all deserved.
The Buster Posey comparison stands out immediately as something of a “wow” moment from this chat. Posey, of course cemented his status as a star when he was a rookie in 2010. While he would win the National League Rookie of the Year award that season on the power of a .305/.357/.505 slash line with 18 home runs and 67 RBI, the most important thing he would go on to win that year was the World Series.
With Will Smith behind the dish as the everyday guy, the Dodgers are hoping to pick up their first championship in 31 years.