Will Smith Appreciation Page

As Will Smith continues to hit home runs every game we thought it might be a good time to show some love for the underrated slugging catcher.

The first table compares Will Smith against other Dodger catchers at a similar age which is 26.

                                                                       
Player            HR   PA OPS+V From   To   Age  2B   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Mike Piazza       92 1592   151 1992 1995 23-26  62 .322 .375 .557 .932
Will Smith        44  735   143 2019 2021 24-26  33 .267 .369 .540 .908
Joe Ferguson      28  734   127 1970 1973 23-26  32 .256 .359 .444 .803
Yasmani Grandal   16  426   112 2015 2015 26-26  12 .234 .353 .403 .756
Mike Scioscia     21 1871   104 1980 1985 21-26  73 .267 .357 .358 .716
Russell Martin    49 2326   103 2006 2009 23-26 102 .276 .368 .407 .775
Roy Campanella     9  321   102 1948 1948 26-26  11 .258 .345 .416 .761
Steve Yeager      30 1147   100 1972 1975 23-26  37 .248 .323 .380 .703

Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 8/28/2021.

You can’t do a Will Smith appreciation page without realizing how great HOF Mike Piazza was. Mike had already blasted 92 home runs and his .932 OPS is still tops. Russell Martin had already amassed 2326 plate appearances while Will Smith has only 735 but even with that huge plate appearance advantage, Will Smith is only five home runs behind Russell Martin. Will Smith has an OPS of .908 which is over 100 points higher than the next catcher on the OPS list Joe Ferguson. Using OPS+ you realize just how good an offensive catcher that Joe Ferguson was and right now he is the best comp for Will Smith. Ferguson would put together two great offensive season back to back at age 26 and 27 and while he was the primary catcher at age 26 in 1973, in 1974 he would only catch 82 games while playing 32 in the outfield.

At this stage in his career, it seems clear that Will Smith is the second best hitting catcher in Dodger history. Keep in mind this is only because HOF Roy Campanella didn’t start playing with the Dodgers until his age 26 season, while this is the third season for Will Smith.

Are you curious how Will Smith stands up to all major league catchers at this stage in his career. Considering he’s right on Piazz’a butt in OPS+ and that Piazza is generally considered the greatest hitting catcher of all-time I expect he’ll fair favorably. Let’s find out:

Oh my, using age 26 as the maximum age, seasons after 1900, catching at least 50% of the time, National League only, and at least 500 plate appearances you can see that Will Smith is doing quite well against all the catchers in this group.

                                                                                         
Player            HR OPS+V   PA From   To   Age  2B   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS       Pos      Tm
Mike Piazza       92   151 1592 1992 1995 23-26  62 .322 .375 .557 .932     *2/H3     LAD
Will Smith        44   143  735 2019 2021 24-26  33 .267 .369 .540 .908    *2/HD5     LAD
Buster Posey      61   142 1850 2009 2013 22-26 101 .308 .377 .486 .864    *2/3HD     SFG
Joe Torre        132   132 3635 1960 1967 19-26 143 .297 .359 .473 .832    *23/H7 MLN-ATL
Johnny Bench     212   130 4588 1967 1974 19-26 197 .270 .340 .483 .823 *2/953H78     CIN
Joe Ferguson      28   127  734 1970 1973 23-26  32 .256 .359 .444 .803    *2/9H7     LAD
Rick Wilkins      44   125 1009 1991 1993 24-26  41 .276 .352 .474 .825      *2/H     CHC
Bill DeLancey     19   125  668 1932 1935 20-23  32 .291 .384 .479 .863      *2/H     STL
Brian McCann     112   122 2938 2005 2010 21-26 181 .289 .360 .489 .849     *2/HD     ATL
Jim Pagliaroni    21   122  640 1963 1964 25-26  17 .265 .359 .421 .779      *2/H     PIT
Ed Bailey         58   121 1198 1953 1957 22-26  27 .263 .369 .479 .848      *2/H     CIN
Jason Kendall     45   121 2682 1996 2000 22-26 148 .314 .402 .456 .858      *2/H     PIT
Tom Haller        34   121  745 1961 1963 24-26  22 .247 .348 .449 .798    *2/H97     SFG

Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 8/28/2021.

With his 21st home run last night, Will Smith joined the Los Angeles catchers below who have hit at least 20 home runs in a single season. Some guy named Piazza has the top four home runs seasons in LAD history.

                                                                   
Player            HR Year Age  Tm  PA   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS      Pos
Mike Piazza       40 1997  28 LAD 633 .362 .431 .639 1.070    *2/DH
Mike Piazza       36 1996  27 LAD 631 .336 .422 .563  .985     *2/H
Mike Piazza       35 1993  24 LAD 602 .318 .370 .561  .932    *2/H3
Mike Piazza       32 1995  26 LAD 475 .346 .400 .606 1.006     *2/H
Yasmani Grandal   27 2016  27 LAD 457 .228 .339 .477  .816    *2H/3
Paul Lo Duca      25 2001  29 LAD 519 .320 .374 .544  .917 *23/H79D
Joe Ferguson      25 1973  26 LAD 585 .263 .369 .470  .839   *29/7H
Yasmani Grandal   24 2018  29 LAD 518 .241 .349 .466  .815    *2H/3
Todd Hundley      24 2000  31 LAD 353 .284 .375 .579  .954    *2/HD
Todd Hundley      24 1999  30 LAD 428 .207 .295 .436  .731      *2H
Mike Piazza       24 1994  25 LAD 441 .319 .370 .541  .910     *2/H
Yasmani Grandal   22 2017  28 LAD 482 .247 .308 .459  .767      *2H
Will Smith        21 2021  26 LAD 402 .266 .373 .510  .884   *2H/D5
Joe Ferguson      20 1979  32 LAD 442 .262 .380 .466  .845    29H/7

Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 8/28/2021.

One final Will Smith note for now. Will has hit seven home runs so far this August. Will hit eight home runs in August in 2019, and he has a total of eighteen home run in August out of his forty four home runs.

                                                 
Split          PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS  TB GDP
April/March    79  3 .226 .380 .452  .831  28   5
May           100  2 .303 .360 .449  .809  40   2
June           94  8 .247 .351 .580  .931  47   3
July          115  7 .266 .365 .564  .929  53   1
August        205 18 .271 .385 .635 1.021 108   1
Sept/Oct      142  6 .268 .359 .472  .831  58   3

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/28/2021.

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