Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Will Smith Explains His Mental Approach

Will Smith has quickly risen up the ranks of MLB catchers. The 26-year-old backstop has been one of the best offensive catchers in the game. Smith’s defense has also steadily improved over the last three seasons.

Smith’s charted a promising career course anchored by staying even-keeled. Smith explained his baseball mindset on a December episode of UNFINISHED with Anderson Miller.

“I’m super confident in myself and I try to surround myself with the right people who are positive around me, no matter if I go 0-for-4 that day or 4-for-4. They’re always the same. That’s kind of how I go about it, is try not to go too high or get too low.”

Over the last three seasons, Smith ranks first in wRC+ (135), first in OPS (.892) and third in WAR (7.5) among catchers with at least 800 PAs.

His glove work isn’t top shelf yet, but after finishing dead last in Baseball Savant’s Runs Extra Strikes metic in 2020, Smith ranked 16th out of 39 qualifying catchers in 2021.

Will Smith Has a Fan in ESPN’s Buster Olney

It’s not just Dodgers fans that are excited about Smith and what he brings to LA. ESPN’s Buster Olney gave him high praise in his 2022 pre-season positional rankings. The Dodgers backstop performance even merited a small bit of profanity from ESPN’s baseball expert.

“His early-career slash line of .262/.365/.527 is damn impressive among those at his position. Barring injury, he’s likely to be No. 1 on this list in a couple of years.”

However, Smith isn’t one to read his own press – good or bad.

“The good, the bad, you don’t let outside noise get you stuck on either one. Just keep going at it.”

Final Thoughts

The Dodgers have been a perennial World Series contender throughout Smith’s young career in Los Angeles. Smith is often overlooked on a roster that has names like Betts, Kershaw, Buehler, and Bellinger.

The fact is, he’s quietly built himself into one of the best catchers in baseball.

Quiet confidence is what got Smith this far, and it’s the reason he’ll be the best catcher in MLB soon enough.

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Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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