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Will Smith (C-LAD) 2021 Outlook


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After last night’s 5 hit game and his excellent 2020 season he’s the first guy I had to make a thread about.

 

Going into 2020 it seemed like he’d be in the mold of Rhys Hoskins high power, low BA at C (at least some compared him to that). But this year he showed great contact skills and ability to hit for AVG too.

 

-He walked nearly as often (14%) as he struck out (16%)

-He drastically reduced his SwStr% (10% to 5.7%)

-He swung outside the zone far less often (25% to 18%)

-He hit barrels at a higher clip while making contact in the zone 90% of the time


So in a nutshell, he may be the most improved player of 2020. His peripherals honestly look more like Alex Bregman to me now.

 

The main question is: were these real skill gains? It was a short season but you can’t fake that kind of skill in 139 PAs can you?

 

If this wasn’t a fluke he may well be the best C in the game right now

Edited by UberRebel
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Smith had a great year. but the dodgers give him too many off days to compete with the heavy play of certain catchers. I think the Dodgers are the worst thing to happen to fantasy sports. Having such a deep team allows them to rest stars all year and even in playoffs. on the positive side they aren't winning championships so it doubtful other teams follow their course of yearly playoff losses.

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11 hours ago, hailfire4 said:

Smith had a great year. but the dodgers give him too many off days to compete with the heavy play of certain catchers. I think the Dodgers are the worst thing to happen to fantasy sports. Having such a deep team allows them to rest stars all year and even in playoffs. on the positive side they aren't winning championships so it doubtful other teams follow their course of yearly playoff losses.

 

Note as we got towards the end of the season/post-season here, he has been hitting DH a lot.  Roberts has said his bat is too important to leave out of lineup.

I believe the DH in the NL for 2021 has already been agreed upon, so if Smith gets 1-2 games a week at DH, that will quickly give him a lot of ABs. 

Dodgers are a bit unpredictable, but if he hits well, LA seems to have no problem finding ABs for him.  He was their best hitter for basically the second half of the season.  The curious thing will what happens when Ruiz gets more games at catcher, does Smith become the DH half the time?  Especially with Pederson and Turner likely out of LA.

 

Edited by Hellgrammite
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  • tonycpsu locked this topic
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  • 3 months later...

Smith is still the starting catcher and will be spelled, as all catchers are. He'll do more with 375ish ABs than most other catchers would if they did play full time. No hesitation from me at all.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Might create a nice price at drafts. Smith is still a top 5 hitter when it comes to catchers, and the likelihood Smith pinch hits is high, whether for Barnes, or as Chris Taylor is swapped for Gavin Lux or AJ Pollock late in games. It'll be interesting how low his draft stock drops.

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20 minutes ago, PhilaFanBoy said:

Might create a nice price at drafts. Smith is still a top 5 hitter when it comes to catchers, and the likelihood Smith pinch hits is high, whether for Barnes, or as Chris Taylor is swapped for Gavin Lux or AJ Pollock late in games. It'll be interesting how low his draft stock drops.

I don't get this. I don't see anything in the underlying numbers that says Smith is significantly better than Contreras or Grandal and neither of them have playing time concerns. I think Smith is being WAY overdrafted this season and is the classic example of why it doesn't make sense to reach for a catcher unless you want to blow an early pick on Realmuto. 

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4 minutes ago, jmcampbe11 said:

I don't get this. I don't see anything in the underlying numbers that says Smith is significantly better than Contreras or Grandal and neither of them have playing time concerns. I think Smith is being WAY overdrafted this season and is the classic example of why it doesn't make sense to reach for a catcher unless you want to blow an early pick on Realmuto. 

His Statcast is quite impressive. Then again, the framing sticks out enough to keep him off field in comparison to Barnes. We'll see. It all depends how far he slips in drafts...but if he drops to a draft position or auction price that values him as merely a part-time catcher, he's definitely worth the risk/reward. 

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I still think having him starting 3 or 4 days a week plus late game pinch hitting is still better than most, I got him at pick 115 in a 12 teamer last night. Better value would have been in the 130s but not disappointed with the pick.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dodgers announcers just mentioned Barnes cut his hand at a play at the plate. So probably more Will Smith than expected the next few days?

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The issue is his defense.  Calling games and framing. That is why he will split time.

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7 hours ago, B&F said:

The issue is his defense.  Calling games and framing. That is why he will split time.

This... They need to pair him up with a calm, level headed, mature pitcher like Trevor Bauer.

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10 hours ago, colepenhagen said:

quality not quantity for a catcher. fewer 0-4 and a healthy, motivated catcher is ideal. just hope the splitting time doesnt mess with his rhythm.

Hasn’t so far. Looking locked in and on base like crazy. 100% agree - gimme a ++ catcher over a JAG who will play 10-20 more games.

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On 4/6/2021 at 7:22 AM, IncuRAM said:

Hasn’t so far. Looking locked in and on base like crazy. 100% agree - gimme a ++ catcher over a JAG who will play 10-20 more games.

Yep I'll take a near .2000 OPS from C even if he only plays half the games. He's a stud.

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