MLB Top-10 Catchers Right Now: Will Smith Ranked By The Shredder For 2022

After being snubbed from the All-Star Game last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith was ranked as a top-10 catcher by MLB Network’s The Shredder heading into the 2022 season.

The Shredder focuses on a three-year sample size, with the 2021 season weighted more heavily. Notable statistics it takes into account are WAR and wRC+, while Statcast metrics are also part of the evaluation.

Defense is weighed the most for catchers among all positions with framing and games caught also taken into account.

Smith came in third on The Shredder’s rankings, behind Philadelphia Phillies All-Star J.T. Realmuto (No. 1) and former Dodgers and current Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal. Among those trailing Smith are Wilson Contreras (Chicago Cubs) and Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals) to round out the top five.

Among MLB Network’s analysts, Smith was ranked the No. 1 catcher by both Mike Petriello and Vince Gennaro. Sarah Langs said she would have ranked Smith first as well but worried she would be the only analyst to do so.

Among catchers with at least 600 plate appearances since 2019, Smith ranks first in wRC+ (135) and wOBA (.373), second in on-base percentage (.365), third in slugging percentage (.527) and FanGraphs’ WAR (7.5), fourth in xwOBA (.361), sixth in home runs (48) and seventh in batting average (.262).

Smith hit .258/.365/.495 over 130 games last season, posting career highs in doubles (19), triples (two), home runs (25) and RBI (76). He also performed well in the postseason, going 11-for-44 with two doubles, three home runs and four RBI across three series.

On the defensive side, Smith threw out 25% of would-be base stealers and committed just six errors in 1,004.2 innings behind the plate. He additionally ranked in the 66th percentile in pitch framing.

Smith was also recently ranked among the top-10 catchers by ESPN’s Buster Olney, coming in No. 4 on the list that receives input from evaluators and others around baseball.

The Shredder 2022 rankings: catcher

RankThe ShredderMike PetrielloSarah Langs Vince Gennaro
1J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)Will Smith (Dodgers)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)Will Smith (Dodgers)
2Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)
3Will Smith (Dodgers)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)Will Smith (Dodgers)J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)
4Willson Contreras (Cubs)Sean Murphy (Athletics)Sean Murphy (Athletics)Salvador Perez (Royals)
5Salvador Perez (Royals)Salvador Perez (Royals)Salvador Perez (Royals)Mitch Garver (Rangers)
6Mitch Garver (Rangers)Willson Contreras (Cubs)Mike Zunino (Rays)Mike Zunino (Rays)
7Sean Murphy (Athletics)Mike Zunino (Rays)Willson Contreras (Cubs)Sean Murphy (Athletics)
8Jacob Stallings (Marlins)Tyler Stephenson (Reds)Jacob Stallings (Marlins)Adley Rutschman (Orioles)
9Mike Zunino (Rays)Mitch Garver (Rangers)Omar Narváez (Brewers)Jacob Stallings (Marlins)
10Carson Kelly (Diamondbacks)Max Stassi (Angels)Adley Rutschman (Orioles)Willson Contreras (Cubs)

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