Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers had Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez voted as starters for the National League in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, and now will be represented by a fourth position player as Will Smith earned a selection as a reserve.
Clayton Kershaw was also named to All-Star Game among NL pitchers. Meanwhile, this is Smith’s first time making the event.
Smith had advanced to Phase 2 of voting but finished second to the Atlanta Braves’ Sean Murphy for NL catchers. The 28-year-old was named to the NL team by his peers through the “Player Ballot.”
Smith entered play Sunday batting a stellar .276/.396/.495 with nine doubles, 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 265 plate appearances across 61 games this season.
Among MLB catchers, Smith ranks first in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging (.891), second in walks (42) and runs scored (39), third in batting average, and fourth in home runs and RBI.
Smith’s first career All-Star Game selection is well-deserved and long overdue as he has been one of the league’s top catchers for several years now. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was vocal about him being snubbed for last year’s Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium.
Roberts advocated for Smith on multiple occasions again this year.
Will Smith cemented in Dodgers lineup
In addition to making strides with handling the pitching staff and game calling, Smith has impressed Roberts with his consistent success while hitting in the upper third of the Dodgers lineup.
“I think that he’s one of the top three catchers in all of baseball. I think you know him, you got to put (J.T.) Realmuto and (Adley) Rutschman in that kind of conversation. But he’s a superstar, and that probably makes him uncomfortable,” Roberts recently said.
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