Dodgers News: Will Smith Not Deterred By Batting Average

While the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown signs of breaking out of their nearly two-week-long offensive slump, several players continue to struggle at the plate.

Will Smith is in that category, as he’s batting a career-low .226 in 20 games this season. The 26-year-old, however, has more than made up for the low average by drawing walks at an above-average clip and consistently hitting the ball hard.

Smith enters play Saturday with a .380 on-base percentage and .452 slugging percentage, ranking fifth in both categories among Dodgers players.

“You just keep going at-bat to at-bat. I haven’t really felt great all year at the plate. To be able to still walk, swing at the right pitches and move the ball, I just feel like I’ve been in compete mode all year,” Smith said this week.

“I really haven’t locked it in. I felt really good in spring and it kind of went away a bit. That’s what I try to do up there. I just try to hit the ball hard consistently, swing at the right pitches, and the rest will take care of itself. I can control what I can control.”

Smith’s poor batting average can be attributed to an unsustainably low .234 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which measures how often a ball in play goes for a hit.

The league average BABIP typically is around .300, so it can be expected Smith’s batting average will eventually regress to the mean.

Beaty feeling more ‘comfortable’ after spending time at alternate site

Another player trending in the right direction is Matt Beaty, who recently was recalled from the alternate training site. After a slow start to the season, he looks noticeably better at the plate. “I feel pretty good up, I feel comfortable again,” Beaty said.

“Going down to the alternate site was good for me to get some at-bats, get some confidence, put some balls in play and just get back to what I do as a baseball player. That’s have good at-bats and hit the ball hard somewhere.”

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