Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Remaining regarded as one of the top catchers in all of baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith has been ranked as the second-best player in the position by MLB Network’s The Shredder heading into the 2023 season.
In addition to The Shredder, he was ranked by all three voting analysts. Mike Petriello and Vince Gennaro both placed Smith at third on their respective lists, and Sarah Langs had him fourth.
After being ranked third last offseason, Smith, who agreed to a deal to avoid arbitration a few weeks ago, moved up one spot after a strong 2022.
For the third consecutive season, Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto remains considered to be the best catcher in baseball by The Shredder. With an unbelievable defensive prowess behind home plate and a powerful bat, Realmuto is coming off a season in which he hit for a .276 average with 22 home runs and 84 RBI.
Coming in behind Smith at third on the list is Baltimore Orioles rookie phenom Adley Rutschman. Behind Rustchman at fourth is new Atlanta Braves catcher Sean Murphy.
St. Louis Cardinals’ Willson Contreras, Toronto Blue Jays’ Alejandro Kirk, Atlanta Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud, Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez, Toronto Blue Jays’ Danny Jansen and Cincinnati Reds’ Tyler Stephenson rounded out the Top-10 Catchers Right Now.
While batting .261/.356/.501 last season, Smith also hit a career-high 36 doubles to go along with 24 home runs.
Leading all players at the position last season with 87 RBI, Smith’s 132 WRC+ is the highest among all catchers since the start of 2020 (minimum 600 plate appearances).
Meanwhile, Smith’s 130 OPS+ in his first four seasons is third-highest in MLB history among catchers with at least 800 plate appearances and 40% of games played at the position. Only Mike Piazza (151) and Buster Posey (146) have a higher OPS+ by a catcher in their first four seasons.
MLB Top-10 Catchers Right Now for 2023
RankThe ShredderMike PetrielloSarah Langs Vince Gennaro
1J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)Adley Rutschman (Orioles)J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)Adley Rutschman (Orioles)
2Will Smith (Dodgers)J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)Adley Rutschman (Orioles)J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)
3Adley Rutschman (Orioles)Will Smith (Dodgers)Sean Murphy (Braves)Will Smith (Dodgers)
4Sean Murphy (Braves)Alejandro Kirk (Blue Jays)Will Smith (Dodgers)Alejandro Kirk (Blue Jays)
5Willson Contreras (Cardinals)Sean Murphy (Braves)Willson Contreras (Cardinals)Sean Murphy (Braves)
6Alejandro Kirk (Blue Jays)Willson Contreras (Cardinals)Alejandro Kirk (Blue Jays)Cal Raleigh (Mariners)
7Travis d’Arnaud (Braves)Cal Raleigh (Mariners)Cal Raleigh (Mariners)William Contreras (Brewers)
8Salvador Pérez (Royals)Tyler Stephenson (Reds)Salvador Pérez (Royals)Jose Trevino (Yankees)
9Danny Jansen (Blue Jays)Jose Trevino (Yankees)Jose Trevino (Yankees)Willson Contreras (Cardinals)
10Tyler Stephenson (Reds)William Contreras (Brewers)William Contreras (Brewers)Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)
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