Will Smith Thanks Dodgers Fans, Grateful For ‘Special Year’
Will Smith, 2021 NLCS
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Will Smith continued a rise as one of the best catchers in baseball and contributed in multiple facets for the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first full Major League season.

Smith continued to hit well regardless of where he was placed on the lineup, and improved with handling a staff and framing pitches.

“There’s just very few guys that you can hit in the middle top part of an order of a championship-caliber team who is a receiver as well and who is very good back there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said during the National League Championship Series.

“For me, he’s a top-three catcher in baseball, hands down. And that’s an easy conversation for me. Then you layer in the heartbeat, the pulse, he’s a heck of a player, a very intelligent guy. So we don’t take it for granted, and his growth with the pitching staff, the trust that he has.

“When you’re talking about Kershaw, Scherzer, Buehler and Jansen, some guys that have really admirable track records and kind of managing those guys and be the leader on the field, it’s not easy. But this year he’s really come a long way and he continues to get better.”

Although the season didn’t end how Smith and the team hoped, he joined the group of players to thank Dodgers fans for their support.

Smith finished the season batting .258/.365/.495 and set career highs with 19 doubles, 25 home runs and 76 RBI. Along with Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Trea Turner, Smith was named a Silver Slugger Award finalist.

Smith quickly learned in postseason

Despite being just 26 years old, the Dodgers’ backstop has been in the postseason over three different seasons and performed well.

“In the postseason you just kind of got to slow everything down,” Smith said. “Whether it’s an at-bat, just kind of take a breath, relax, not let, not try to do too much. And same thing behind the plate.

“Slow the game down, think about what you’re doing, think about who is on deck, what the situation is, just being able to slow the game down and let the game come to you.”

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