2. Will Smith
Will Smith burst onto the scene and forced the Los Angeles Dodgers to take notice and make him the everyday catcher into the postseason. Smith was always viewed as the Dodgers’ second-best catching prospect behind Keibert Ruiz, but when given a chance, Smith absolutely delivered.
In a hot start comparable to Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger, Smith hit a pinch-hit, three-run walk-off home run against the Colorado Rockies in his 21st career at-bat in June. It was when he got called back up in July when things really started to get going.
In his first game back up from AAA, Smith went 3-3 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs. In Smith’s first 16 games after being called back up he hit seven home runs, drove in 22 RBIs, batted .360 and had a 1.353 OPS.
His 2019 numbers, although they dipped, are still impressive considering the sample size. Smith hit 15 home runs and drove in 43 RBIs in 196 plate appearances. He was on pace to finish with 45 home runs and 130 RBIs across a 600-plate appearance season.
As we already mentioned, though, Smith began to fall off towards the end of the season once that momentum cooled off. Smith hit .175 in September and October with 17 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. Those struggles continued into the postseason, where Smith went 1-13 with five strikeouts.
Smith has the raw power and smooth swing to be one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, but he is likely still a year or two away from tapping into that full potential. He will have flashes of greatness in 2020, but likely will not perform up to the level that he created for himself after such a hot start last season.