Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers were well represented at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game with six players selected to the National League roster, but they still had multiple deserving players who did not make the team.
On the original NL roster, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner were voted in as All-Star Game starters by the fans while Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin were selected by MLB and the players’ vote. Freddie Freeman and Tyler Anderson were later added on as replacements for other players.
However, Will Smith and Julio Urías were among the game’s biggest snubs as both were more deserving than some of the players who made the roster ahead of them. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he remained particularly disappointed that Smith wasn’t selected to the team, via SportsNet LA:
“I’m still irritated. I think they missed it. Things could change, but I just don’t think there’s a manager in the National League that would not say he is one of the top two catchers in the National League. And that’s just more micro, representing the National League. If that’s the case, which I’m sure is, I just don’t see how he can’t make this team. It probably disappointed me the most.”
Roberts and Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes have both previously praised Smith, calling him arguably the most undervalued player in the game and the best catcher in the sport.
Since his MLB debut in 2019, Smith has been the best offensive catcher in baseball and this season he has continued that success by batting .272/.364/.478 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs, 47 RBI and a 139 wRC+ in 77 games.
Only the Toronto Blue Jays’ Alejandro Kirk, who was the starting catcher for the American League, has produced better offensive numbers to this point in the season.
The NL went on to lose their ninth consecutive All-Star Game, 3-2, while the three catchers who made the team went a combined 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Smith would have participated in the Home Run Derby
For a second consecutive year, the Dodgers were not represented in the Home Run Derby. Freeman and Turner were among the possibilities, but both declined for various reasons.
There was some hope Smith would enter the Derby, but he passed on the opportunity after not being selected to the All-Star Game.
In the event, Washington Nationals’ superstar Juan Soto ended up winning by defeating the Seattle Mariners’ rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez.
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