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Keith Law Believes A Dodgers’ Prospect Will Be Starting By The All-Star Break

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 24: Will Smith #79 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands at bat in the spring training game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

It’s time for the second installment of breaking down what Keith Law said about the Dodgers’ catching situation! In his most recent chat, Law said he believes top prospect Will Smith will be the starting catcher by the all-star break.

Bilal: who’s getting the bulk of the starts behind the plate for the Dodgers by the All-Star break: Barnes, Smith or Ruiz?
Keith Law: Smith.

Smith is a 23-year-old catcher drafted by the Dodgers out of Louisville in the 1st round of the 2016 draft. He currently ranks anywhere from #5 to #8 on the Dodgers’ top 10 list depending on which publication you look at.

Although Smith is not currently on the 40-man roster like fellow catcher Keibert Ruiz, he is ahead of Ruiz on their track to the big leagues. Ruiz was already added to protect him from the Rule-5 Draft.

Smith hit .264/.358/.532 with 18 homers and a 141 wRC+ in his breakout season for the AA Tulsa Drillers. After being promoted to AAA Oklahoma City near the end of the season, he struggled in a small sample of games. When the minor league season ended, the Dodgers brought him to Los Angeles to be around and learn from the major league team. He will likely start the 2019 season in AAA and could be fast-tracked to the majors depending on how Barnes and Martin do.

Defensively, Smith is an excellent receiver with a strong and accurate arm. He was known as a defense-first catcher in college but a swing change allowed him to unlock more of his power. The athletic and versatile Smith has played third base for the Dodgers organization and has even played center field in college and in the Arizona Fall League.

Smith’s ceiling is probably similar to Russell Martin as they are both athletic, versatile, and strong defenders with plus power in their bat.  A more likely scenario is he becomes a more athletic Yan Gomes. Either way, the Dodgers have a very talented, young catcher close to taking the starting job.

[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-the-top-5-starting-pitching-prospects-heading-into-2019/2019/02/04/” type=”big” color=”red”] Dodgers: The Top 5 Starting Pitching Prospects Heading Into 2019[/button]

Written by Blake Williams

I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles Pierce College and now I'm working towards my Bachelor's at Cal State University, Northridge. I'm currently the managing editor for the Roundup News and a writer for Dodgers Nation. Around the age of 12, I fell in love with baseball and in high school, I realized my best path to working in baseball was as a writer, so that's the path I followed. I also like to bring an analytics viewpoint to my work and I'm always willing to help someone understand them since so many people have done the same for me. Thanks for reading!

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  1. You are wrong Martin and Barnes will do a decent job the only prospect that will start is Verdugo but later will be platooned by the 2 stooges cause that’s their stupid way.they turn prospects into platoon players.We need a real manager not a general manager’s puppet.Hopefully the stooges can trade all our prospects for proven stars before they make them platoon players since they don’t know much about baseball.

  2. If you’re really a dodgers fan then start calling like it is and put the blame about not winning a world series in the last 6 years even when having the most expensive team and the best pitcher in baseball and the second best pitcher in baseball in Greinke.Wasted 6 years with mattingly and Roberts already.Magic sucks as part owner and not knowing baseball he should have fired both stooges and hired mike sciocia instead he gives us 4 more years of dumb roberts.

    • Magic Johnson has nothing to do with who manages the Dodgers and who doesn’t. That one you probably need to put on Stan Kasten or Friedman himself……not sure who actually decides who the manager is going to be but it’s not Magic……. Magic is a minority share owner……he only owns 2.3 percent……

      • back to the article….(almost forgot why I was gonna post)….let’s hope Smith makes an impact this season….there is no telling what can happen….but better to have a home grown Dodger from the farm than a mercenary.

  3. The 3 stooges are a joke,they trade Puig who”s going to hit over 35 hrs and probably 285 or better with over 100 rbis playing everyday and will hit lefthanders for 9 million and signed a broken down 32 year outfielder who’s always getting hurt and will or only hit 265 with 9 or 10 hrs maybe 69 rbis if he stays healthy remember Dodger stadium is not a hitters park.That’s how dumb they are

    • Yeah but Puig era needed to end. Never became player fans thought, can not hit lefties and his antics were getting old. Dodgers were never going to re sign him after 2019.

    • You’re speaking as a baseball fan and not as an owner of a business, as Guggenheim is. Dodger season tickets are sold, Time Warner has already handed over their $8 BILLION. See, if the Dodger were to end up in last place for the next several seasons, Guggenheim would still make the same amount of money. It makes sense to lower the salary, and make the team somewhat interesting. Just interesting enough to give the fans a feel of winning. The Time Warner deal is a win-win for the Guggenheim. Few see them on TV, which makes you go to the stadium to see them. And in that, old McCourt is a winner in that too. If the current ownership was set on winning, we’d have several World Series trophies by now.

    • I like the Pollock signing! We will see if he can stay healthy……..that is a valid criticism……but almost all of his injuries have been fluke bone breaks, thrown pitches hitting him etc…….no major soft tissue stuff…..the guy hustles he is going to get hurt…and we have the depth to over come pretty much anyone losing games to injuries now and then. **It happens.

      • Hello bluz1st! Do you or anyone here believe the problem with the LA Rams in yesterday’s Super Bowl was that they watched the Dodgers against Boston in the WS? Talk about a duplicate performance! Anyway Pollock should be OK and he WANTS to be here. he will play everyday but not in all 162 games. No Dodger will. But IMHO Pollock alone will not solve this team’s problems against LHP.. besides most of the lefty batters being unable to hit them, some of our RH bats struggle against LHP too and until that also improves we will see as many LHP as there are out there that a team can throw at Dodgers, but WSS

          • Exactly! And it will take a team effort too. I would believe that another solid RHB if one can be obtained might help out in that department . But to be fair, if they platoon they way they did last year most of the players won’t get enough opportunities to see if they can hang in there against them.. It goes back to the saying…’Ya can’t play if ya don’t play’.

    • He’s making good points but he’s terrible at presenting his thoughts. We need to come to his defense when the more educated bullies come and try to spin it like the shill con men they are

      • The off season not quite through yet and there may be another move or 2 according to MLBN, wss. However I will say most here are very ‘high’ on Verdugo being a great replacement for Puig in RF. Although Puig as a RHB could not hit LHP to save his life, let’s not crown Verdugo as the next coming of Ted Williams or Lou Gehrig. and for all we know , if he struggles any, he will be made into another platoon player

        • Well said, Azul!!!!! I especially liked the part about the Blue Crew possibly making another move or two. I am totally with you on that. I do believe that the addition of Realmuto and another pitcher would be of great help to us. At present, our eighth position is dubious at best. We need to extend our lineup in that slot; whether is by bringing up
          Smith or Ruiz makes no difference. We need to make up for lost run production!!!!! Go Dodgers!!! Go PD Jr.!!!

          • BLUE LOU! How ya be? Well first off the Season is around the corner because PD Jr. was clinging to his cage door watching MLBN, LOL As I mentioned before Pollock by himself won’t improve Dodger hitting against LHP and that is where I wish we could obtain Realmuto. But even though Kluber would be a great addition to the pitching it now appears highly unlikely we trade for him. Correct on the 8th spot in the order being in question. But the rest of this lineup still needs to cut down on their K’s. But again the problem surfaces more if players are constantly in and out of the lineup daily. That leads to the inconsistency in the offense because platooning does turn many into simply marginal players so wss.

  4. You Dodger fans are SO negative! How many teams have been to the World Series 2 times in a row? Throw in six division titles. You “so called” Dodgers are SO spoiled- It’s SICKENING!

  5. When the Reds come to town, I’m hoping that Piug and Kemp both hit 4 homers each. Wood pitches 8 perfect innings. Then in the ninth, the Dodgers score nine on the Reds bullpen.

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