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Dodgers: Will Smith Staying Positive Through Bad Luck

He’s hitting the ball hard, but WIll can’t seem to catch a break.



When it rains, it pours. That’s certainly the case with the Dodgers and their failing offense. They once again failed to come through in big situations on Monday night leading to their 6th loss in 8 games. 

In all fairness, some guys are just getting flat out getting robbed during this stretch. Will Smith would certainly fall into that category. The Dodgers backstop has hit the ball very well but just can’t seem to find a hole in the field. 

This is a problem that Smith also ran into early last season. He currently ranks near the top in Expected Weighted On-base Average (xwOBA) at 430. His actual wOBA comes in at just 367. Smith is also among the top in the game in expected slugging percentages and he’s hitting the ball harder than last year with the Dodgers. 

Despite that, Smith is slashing .212/.382/.423 through 17 games. When I asked him how he handles experiencing so much bad luck early on, Smith said persistence is key. 

You just keep going at-bat to at bat. I haven’t really felt great all year at the plate. And to be able to still walk, still swing at the right pitches and move the ball, I just feel like I’m in compete mode all year. I really haven’t locked in. …I just try to hit the ball hard consistently and swing at the right pitches. The rest will take care of itself. 

The bad luck will wear out eventually and his hits will start falling. But the fact that it’s happening right in the middle of the Dodgers’ offensive struggles only makes it worse. Smith has come up in some really big spots this season only to get robbed on defense. 

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So while the pain of watching balls find gloves is real at the moment, find solace in the fact that Smith is still crushing the baseball. The runs are coming Dodgers fans. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I’m not worried about Smith. The hits will eventually drop for him. It’s the guys who are consistently striking out with runners on second and third and less than two outs. That’s what’s costing the Dodgers games.

  2. It’s not just that he’s hitting the ball hard and getting robbed. He’s also this years version of Max Muncy, where umps are calling him out on balls clearly out of the strike zone. His sense of the strike zone, like Muncy, is elite, and when umpires are calling balls as strikes, it messes him up, and forces him to chase when balls 4 inches off the plate are being rung up as strikes.

  3. No Will Smith you got it wrong again! You and the rest of the offense need to put ball in “Play” instead of hitting the ball directly to the defenders for double play! Wake up offense!

  4. Hitting in the major leagues today is not easy with the variety of different pitchers throwing elite stuff, but with that said they cannot let balls center cut go bye. Situational hitting, hitting against the shift has huge holes, and look for pitches in your zone of your swing strength will bring in hits and runs. Some of them are hitting the ball hard but just not falling in or the defense making some outstanding plays. Others are guessing too much thus falling behind count and giving the pitcher full advantage in messing him up, especially the bench guys. I think the vets have it for the most part knowing hitting the ball is at least betting than a KO.

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