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Dodgers: Will Smith Feels Old in Second Big League Season

“I feel like it’s been five years.”



The ride has been quick for Dodgers catcher Will Smith in the wild wild west. Yes, this story may or may not be filled with Will Smith the actor references. The Fresh Prince of LAD made his MLB debut last May before supplanting Austin Barnes and Russell Martin for the lion’s share of starts at catcher. He’s rode the roller coaster of successes and failures and admitted to media on Tuesday that last season feels like a long time ago.

A little over a year ago I got called up and I feel like it’s been five years.

It definitely hasn’t been five years, but it’s been a bumpy season plus for the 25-year-old. While he’s still only played in 70 major league games for the Dodgers, he’s taken every opportunity to soak up the experience and learn.

From personal experience, I feel like I’ve grown a whole lot. You come into a clubhouse for the first time and you’re overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a catcher. Knowing the fine little things about each and every pitcher. Learning how to attack hitters with what pitcher’s on the mound. It’s a gradual process you have to go through. You have to experience stuff and learn from your mistakes.

Through 16 games this season, Big Willie Style has been a victim of bad luck with the bat and with health after getting steamrolled in San Diego led to him missing time on the injured list. On the offensive side of things, I Am Legend has a .184 batting average on the weight of an unlucky .128 BABIP (batting average on balls in play). His HardHit% is 43.8% and his 124 wRC+ is 4th on the team (minimum 15 games played).

Undoubtedly, the bad luck is frustrating for Smith, but after (in his mind) five seasons in the league, he knows the ups and downs of the game.

NEXT: Dodgers Reliever Power Rankings

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Will Smith looks good catching and at bat. He hasn’t gotten good numbers but is barreling up the ball. Barnes has been much better after Mookie mentored him
    Going into the playoffs I would still like to see Russel Martin get a spot but does not look like that is going to happen.
    I am very nervous about the first 3 game series. Any team can get Hot and win two games. MLB was very greedy in not allowing the division winners a bye like they do in football. There is no reward for winning the division!

  2. You are exactly right about the playoff format. No matter how many games you win in the regular season you could blow it all in a 3-game series where anything could happen.

  3. If Barnes continues his success and Smith improves at the plate, Russell Martin isn’t necessary.

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