MLB Top 10 Catchers Right Now: Will Smith Ranked By The Shredder

Coming off a season in which he played a key role in the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first World Series since 1988, Will Smith was ranked among the top 10 catchers by MLB Network’s The Shredder.

Smith, who was only recognized by analysts heading into last season, was ranked No. 3 by The Shredder. With the 2020 campaign shortened to just 60 games, the list for this season was compiled by taking into account a three-year sample.

It also entailed The Shredder rankings from the past two years, Statcast metrics, and the most weight for defense at any position.

The Dodgers have regularly placed a catcher on the list, most notably when Yasmani Grandal was with the organization. He was accompanied in the top 10 by current Dodgers backup catcher Austin Barnes heading into the 2018 season.

The Shredder had Grandal as the No. 1 catcher for the 2020 season, but he was unseated this year by free agent J.T. Realmuto. Though, analysts Mike Petriello and Vince Gennaro still had him at No. 1, while Sarah Langs ranked Grandal behind Realmuto.

Like the The Shredder, Petriello ranked Smith the third-best catcher in baseball, but he was a little further down the list for Gennaro (fourth) and Langs (fifth).

The 25-year-old produced a 1.3 WAR last season, which was 10th best among all catchers. Since 2019, Smith’s .574 slugging percentage and 144 wRC+ both rank first for catchers with at least 300 plate appearances. His .363 on-base percentage during that same span is second-best.

Smith was hurt by some bad luck during the 2020 season but still batted a productive .289/.401/.579 with nine doubles, eight home runs and 25 RBI. His production allowed the Dodgers added flexibility during the postseason as manager Dave Roberts began starting Barnes at catcher and moving Smith to designated hitter.

Although much of the focus went to Smith’s bat, he earned praise from Roberts, Barnes and Clayton Kershaw, among others, for his ability to handle a pitching staff at such a young age.

MLB Top 10 catchers right now for 2021

RankThe ShredderMike PetrielloSarah Langs Vince Gennaro
1J.T. Realmuto (free agent)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)J.T. Realmuto (free agent)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)
2Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)J.T. Realmuto (free agent)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)J.T. Realmuto (free agent)
3Will Smith (Dodgers)Will Smith (Dodgers)Salvador Perez (Royals)Mitch Garver (Twins)
4Willson Contreras (Cubs)Sean Murphy (Athletics)Travis d'Arnaud (Braves)Will Smith (Dodgers)
5Sean Murphy (Athletics)Willson Contreras (Cubs)Will Smith (Dodgers)Salvador Perez (Royals)
6Austin Nola (Padres)Austin Nola (Padres)Willson Contreras (Cubs)Willson Contreras (Cubs)
7Salvador Perez (Royals)Salvador Perez (Royals)James McCann (Mets)Travis d'Arnaud (Braves)
8Travis d'Arnaud (Braves)Christian Vázquez (Red Sox)Sean Murphy (Athletics)Christian Vázquez (Red Sox)
9Mitch Garver (Twins)James McCann (Mets)Roberto Perez (Indians)Jason Castro (free agent)
10James McCann (Mets)Travis d'Arnaud (Braves)Austin Nola (Padres)James McCann (Mets)

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