It finally happened. After two consecutive years of being snubbed from the National League All-Star team, Will Smith was named as one of the five players who will represent the Los Angeles Dodgers in Seattle.
Smith had advanced to Phase 2 of All-Star Game voting but finished second to the Atlanta Braves’ Sean Murphy at the catcher position. The 28-year-old ended up being named to the NL team by his peers through the “Player Ballot.”
It marks the first time Smith made the All-Star Game, which he is appreciative of, via SportsNet LA:
“I think this means a lot of hard work. It’s obviously your dream as a kid to make an All-Star team, so I’m honored. Excited and just happy to be able to go.”
After receiving the news, Smith let his family know and gave them a heads-up to begin preparing for a trip to the Emerald City:
“Yeah, I talked to them. They’re excited and I’m sure they’ll be out there, so I’m looking forward to seeing them there.”
Smith enters play Monday batting .276/.396/.495 with nine doubles, 12 home runs, 41 RBI, 39 runs scored and a 145 wRC+ in 265 plate appearances across 61 games this season.
Among MLB catchers, Smith ranks first in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging (.891), second in walks (42) and runs scored, third in batting average, and fourth in home runs and RBI.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was vocal about Smith being snubbed for last year’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, and advocated for him again this year.
Will Smith among five Dodgers All-Stars
Dodgers teammates joining Smith in 2023 MLB All-Star game are Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez and Clayton Kershaw.
Betts, Freeman and Martinez were previously voted by fans among All-Star Game starters at their respective positions. Kershaw was selected via the players’ ballot, which includes a vote of the players, managers, coaches and by Major League Baseball.
With his 10th All-Star selection, Kershaw tied the Dodgers franchise record. He shares it with Brooklyn legend Pee Wee Reese, who was selected to the Midsummer Classic in 1942 and from 1946-1954.
It’s unlikely the Dodgers add any more All-Stars in the coming days as replacements begin to make their way onto the rosters, but Evan Phillips has the best chance.
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