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Dodgers: Will Smith is Quietly Killing it for Los Angeles as October Approaches

At one point one of baseball’s unluckiest hitters, Will Smith is finally catching a break on offense.



It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Dodgers’ catcher Will Smith. After bursting onto the scene last season and announcing himself as the catcher of the future, the start of 2020 didn’t exactly go as planned.

Through the month of July, Smith hit a mere .077 with only one extra-base hit. August wasn’t kind to him either, but he was able to raise his batting average past the Mendoza line to .208 by the end of the month. While these numbers look pretty bad on paper, the truth was that Smith was a victim of terrible luck for the first month and change of the season. Batted balls that were smoked ran right into gloves and balls that would normally find the gaps just weren’t falling.

It was so bad that fans were calling for the team to send him back to the alternate camp and bring up Keibert Ruiz, who is a top catching prospect himself.

While his batting average took a serious hit because of these bad breaks, it seems as if the baseball Gods have finally decided to reverse his fortunes in the month of September. Since the end of August, Will Smith is hitting .464 with 4 RBI and 5 extra-base hits. To top it all off, most of his production has come in crunch time where it matters most. From the 7th inning on, Smith boasts a  .400 average and has driven in critical runs, including this go-ahead 2-run homer earlier this month against Colorado.

While the numbers suggest that Will Smith found a formula for success that led to such a boost in production, the reality is that he is the same hitter he has always been. His patience at the plate, impeccable vision, and smooth swing have all been there since the start of the season, it just took a bit longer than expected for the odds to even out in his favor.

Moreover, combined with an at times resurgent Austin Barnes, Los Angeles features some of the league’s best production out of the catcher’s spot. The Dodger tandem is third in the National League with a .851 OPS and second in all of baseball at getting on base with a .377 OBP.

With multiple Dodgers still struggling to find success at the plate and Justin Turner barely returning to action, Will Smith is exactly what the doctor ordered as the Dodgers try and hold off the Padres to win their eighth straight Division title.

NEXT: Dave Roberts Calls Padres Series ‘Biggest of the Year’

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. Hope he stays hot. We need a spark because this team is in a free fall. Padres look superior to us. Looks like another lost season happening.

    • Concur and last night’s loss to Padres is a lot on Roberts. Joc Pederson had ABSOLUTELY NO business batting 3rd and Will Smith had NO business not being in the lineup. Gut that’s Roberts for ya.

    • No I don’t think so. Lamet is a very good pitcher – I think their best – and Roberts didn’t field his best lineup. Of his 12 Ks, 6 came from Pederson and Rios (who hasn’t hit at all since his return from the IL.) So you basically saw a hot Padres team at their best and – outside of Kershaw – the Dodgers at their worst.

      Good pitching match up tonight. Let’s see if Pederson is again batting 3rd instead of Pollock before we throw up our hands.

  2. Will Smith is a great new addition to the club and I was screaming myself for sending Austin Barnes to the hay farm….BUT…Barnes is a little bit better defensive catcher at this point than Smith so I think it’s good that Roberts is alternating them. Barnes is also hitting the lights out currently. Smith has had a couple of passed balls that hurt so let’s not throw Austin Barnes to the wolves yet.

    ON a different subject, Muncy has not corralled a couple of balls hit his way in the last few games that Turner would have swallowed right up. Hopefully Turner is back today or tomorrow. We need his solid defense at third. Muncy is just not as quick with his hands as Turner and Muncy is hurting both at the plate and now throwing to second.

  3. I concur about Roberts especially his quick yanking of pitchers throwing well only to see his choice of relievers blow a well pitched game by his starters. I’m not a big fan of Kike. I’ve been a Dodger fan since ‘51.

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