Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Can Will Smith be The LongTerm Catcher in LA? One Insider Doesn’t Think So

The Dodgers youth movement will be underway in 2023. Young prospects will be able to show why they are as such while competing for a serious shot at a World Series title. Guys like Miguel Vargas and Ryan Pepiot will see a lot more time on the field and have an entire season under their belt.

Dodger fans are excited to see these young guys go to work, especially LA’s number one prospect, Diego Cartaya.

Cartaya might not be with the parent club in 2023, but he is prized as LA’s next biggest star. The 21-year-old is a catcher, and while LA has an All-Star level catcher of their own in Will Smith, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez believes the Venezuelan will be the Dodgers catcher soon rather than later.

Diego Cartaya (C): Will be the next Will Smith — or better
By the end of the year, it’ll be fair to wonder whether Cartaya can be just as good — if not better — than Smith, the current catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Smith, 27, is already one of the sport’s greatest catchers. But Cartaya’s combination of on-base ability and power, along with his plus arm strength and steadily improving defense, will soon make industry executives wonder if Smith might actually be expendable.
“Will is an All-Star,” one longtime scout said. “Cartaya has a chance to be a cornerstone.” — Alden Gonzalez

Smith has been the Dodgers’ best offensive catcher since Mike Piazza, which was in the 20th century.
In four seasons, Smith is slashing .261/.356/.501 with a .856 OPS while tallying 72 home runs and 230 RBIs.

The 2016 first-round pick is considered one of the best overall catchers in the league and will represent Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classics.

However, Cartaya can be even better than Smith when you combine his power, speed, strong arm, and high baseball IQ.

The talent is there, and the promise is there; we just have to see it translate into the major league level, and if Cartaya can live up to the hype, then there is no question he will be LA’s next great catcher.

Do you go with a proven Smith or the youngest in Cartaya? The Dodgers will be faced with tough decisions come the 2023 offseason.

Who would you go with moving forward, Dodger fans?

Ricardo Sandoval

Born and Raised in the East side of Los Angeles. Ricardo is a staff writer at Dodgers Nation and on the LA Sports Report network of sites. He's also a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan. Ricardo is an alumnus of CSUN (Go Matadors).


  1. Some analysts believe DC needs some seasoning to improve his pitch selection skills. In this respect, the new pitch clock rules could impact catchers and place a premium on catchers who can ask for the “right” pitch sooner rather than a pitcher faced with the dilemma of shaking the sign off or incurring the pitch clock penalty or throwing a pitch they are uncomfortable with or not having quite enough time to fully think about the mechanics of the pitch they are about to throw.

    A catcher who well knows his pitcher and can call a great game is now more valuable than ever.

  2. Trade him before he’s lost to free agency. On a one-on-one trade during next year’s off-season the Dodgers could receive an all-star type player to fill a need at any position where there is a need. Cartaya is the future catcher.

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