2. Will Smith
You know how Yankees fans always say it’s impossible to find a catcher better than Gary Sánchez, even when Sánchez underwhelms?
The Dodgers are stone-cold giggling at that notion.
They have one in the minors in Diego Cartaya. They had one in the high minors in Keibert Ruiz. And, installed as their starter, they have Will Smith, who’s en route to becoming the gold standard at the position, and has been playing some of his best baseball lately.
Smith’s second half has featured a remarkable 1.053 OPS (!!!), along with 15 homers and 40 RBI. In the past 28 days alone, the catcher (remember, this is a catcher) has been good for a .339 average, seven bombs, and a 1.182 OPS in 18 games started.
Of all the teams praying for a universal DH to enter the National League next season, the Dodgers are definitely among the forgotten — after all, do they really need more offense? I don’t know. You tell me. Did they need Scherzer and Trea Turner at the deadline? The answer turned out to be yes.
On days when Austin Barnes starts to give Smith a breather, having his elite bat available regardless could be a game-changer. He’ll have to play more often than not down the stretch to give the Dodgers a fighting chance, and he’s certainly been delivering for the better part of a month now at the level of one of the game’s elite sluggers.