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Dodgers: Will Smith Proving His Success Can Be Sustained for a Full Season



Will Smith is one of the best catchers in baseball. It’s something that Dodger fans have been claiming since he debuted, but the numbers are finally starting to reflect the same sentiment with Smith leading all catchers in total WAR projections this season.

With 2021 being his first full season in the majors, many wondered if the young catcher would be able to maintain his level of production across a full 162 games. And while he has still split time behind the plate with Austin Barnes, Smith has answered every question along the way.

Smith is hitting .270 with 22 home runs and 65 RBI on the year, a sign that his incredible production prior to this season was not just a result of a small sample size. Prior to Tuesday’s game against the Braves, manager Dave Roberts shared what he felt has helped Smith enjoy so much success in his first full year as a pro.

I think a lot of it is his mindset, his work ethic. He does a lot of good work in the weight room with our guys. I think we’ve done a good job of managing him and his workload as far as getting Austin [Barnes] in there.

The point of managing Smith’s workload with Austin Barnes is an interesting one. On one hand, you can argue that a catcher as talented as Will Smith should be in there every game possible to maximize his production. On the other, however, there is the argument that the time off has actually helped Smith be MORE productive.

Related: Will Smith has been clutch for the Dodgers, and he did it again

Being a catcher is one of the toughest positions in any sport due to both the physical and mental endurance needed to be among the best. It is more than feasible that giving their catchers a chance to recollect themselves from time to time is one of the reasons that the Dodgers have enjoyed so much production from behind the plate.

Either way, Dave Roberts has been pleased with how his young catcher has handled his first complete year in the majors.

The fact is that it’s a full season. He hasn’t played a full season and it’s going to be longer, so how you manage it is really important. But he’s got to take ownership of preparing his mind and body, and Will has done that with flying colors.

Final Thoughts

Will Smith put to rest any questions that people had regarding his ability to take the reigns behind the plate for the foreseeable future. His combination of offensive prowess and ability to manage a pitching staff should have fans excited to watch him for years to come.

NEXT: Justin Turner Says Chase Utley Forced Enrique Hernandez to Eat Healthier

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. Will has earned this praise big time and we are seeing this good power that he possesses here this month especially. But next year if the NL gets the DH back he can be out from behind the dish and bat no lower than 6th in the lineup as he is tonight.

  2. Absolutely concur with everything that you have written about Smith. He has been clutch more than once during this season and deserves recognition; his skills as a catcher are also coming together.Smith is only going to get better with time.

  3. Anybody know if Roberts is drawing names out of a hat when making out his lineup card? He had his best clutch hitter batting 8th. As stupid as Roberts has proven himself to be, that was the definition of legal insanity
    Smith is the best clutch hitter on the team and needs to be hitting 2,3,or 4 to get him an extra at bat late in the game.

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