Dodgers: 3 LAD players who’ve earned first All-Star nods
By Adam Weinrib
2. Will Smith
This should be the first appearance from Will Smith behind the plate, but it won’t be the last.
After all, the era of Yadier Molina is finally endi–I’m sorry, what’s that? He’s somehow hitting .288 with seven bombs and a 141 OPS+ as offense around the league is depleted? Got it. Makes total sense.
OK, pencil Smith in for coming off the bench following Molina’s five innings as the starter, then.
Dodgers catcher Will Smith should make the 2021 All-Star Game.
The 26-year-old, who’s only just beginning to get name recognition beyond “oh, yeah, the same name as that lefty,” has matched Molina blow for blow this year, posting a 139 OPS+ and a superior WAR of 1.2 through just 38 games played.
This is only the start of the ride for our stalwart behind home plate (yes, we’re confused about what happens to Keibert Ruiz, too), and with Molina’s aging curve and Buster Posey’s approach towards the exit lane, too, there aren’t many NL catchers who can prevent him from making the next five or six games at least. This should be a two-man race between Smith and Philadelphia’s JT Realmuto for the next several years, unless Willson Contreras can find his consistency once again.
Celebrate Smith’s first appearance when it comes (it’ll likely be just a few weeks), but don’t celebrate too hard. He’s got plenty more en route.