Dodgers: 5 players that prove LAD already has its next championship team in the works

Thomas Carannante
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 10: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his three run homerun with Zach McKinstry #8 and Gavin Lux #9, to take a 5-1 lead over the Washington Nationals, during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on April 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 10: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his three run homerun with Zach McKinstry #8 and Gavin Lux #9, to take a 5-1 lead over the Washington Nationals, during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on April 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

3. Will Smith

It feels like the Dodgers have been generous with platooning their catchers, but Will Smith has emerged so aggressively that he’ll be owning all the reps not too long from now.

He splits time with Austin Barnes, who already has 20 plate appearances in 2021, but Smith’s electrifying offense and improving defense will continue to force the issue.

Though he’s seen just 98 total career MLB games, he already has 25 homers and 71 RBI to go along with a .270/.371/.586 slash line. And he’s already come through in clutch moments in the postseason for the Dodgers despite his unsightly slash line in October. You’d take 13 RBI in 22 career playoff games from a 26-year-old, wouldn’t you?

Smith is already off to a hot start in 2021 and this will be his first 162-game slate since debuting in 2019. From a power-hitting standpoint, Smith is already comparable to JT Realmuto and Gary Sanchez. He obviously has a long way to go to maintain such a distinction among those sluggers, but his introduction to MLB has been highly recognized.

Catcher is one of the toughest positions to solidify on a roster, but Smith has shown he’s ready to take over as the franchise’s backstop after limited time on the field.

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