What Should Dodgers Expect from Catchers in 2021?

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(Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

In many of our conversations this winter, there’s no doubt that player depth has been a central part of the discussions. Several years ago, the catching department was one of the organizational strongholds before other positions finally started to catch up. In this column, we’ll take a look at how the catchers of the Dodgers shape up today and what to conceivably expect over the next season.

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What Lies Ahead for Keibert Ruiz?

The 2020 season was quite an exciting one for the Los Angeles Dodgers on many levels. Not only did they capture their first title since 1988 with a relatively young player corps, but they also saw the debut of one of their most anticipated prospects, catcher Keibert Ruiz.

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Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on the Options at Catcher

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(Associated Press photo)

The major league arrival of Keibert Ruiz on Saturday spurred many insightful discussions among fans of the Dodgers, specifically how the team might view its situation at catcher for the next several years.

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A Glance at the Organization’s Catching Depth

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(Photo Credit: Keith Birmingham/SCNG)

As the 2020 roster conjecture is just beginning to heat up, one of the early conversations stirring surrounds how the Dodgers might handle the future duties at catcher.

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Lux, Smith Make Remarkable Jump from Minors to NLDS Playoff Roster

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(Los Angeles Times photo)

At the beginning of 2019 spring training, no one knew for sure who would be patrolling the keystone for the Dodgers by the time Opening Day rolled around. Many felt that it would be a combination of players. Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor would battle it out for the bulk of playing time while Max Muncy—who was considered a defensive liability by many—was also in the mix for reps.

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Dodgers Activate Austin Barnes, Option Will Smith to Oklahoma City

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon activated catcher Austin Barnes from the 10-day injured list and optioned catcher Will Smith to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Will Smith Named Top Defensive Player in Minors

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(Photo Credit: Tomo San/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Quickly approaching is the time of the year when the baseball blogosphere is flooded with many versions of minor league prospect rankings. Despite several significant departures at last year’s trade deadlines, the Dodgers are still regarded as having one of the better farm systems in the majors, and it should be interesting to see where the Los Angeles prospects fall in line this year in terms of a league-wide comparison.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Can Will Smith Hit Major League Pitching?

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(Photo Credit: Tomo San/Los Angeles Dodgers)

While many fans of the Dodgers probably think a conversation about next year’s catching picture is irrelevant, there are certainly a few relative factors that play into the remainder of the 2018 season’s landscape. The four biggest questions which pertain to many of the upcoming discussions over the winter are whether or not management will pursue a contact with Yasmani Grandal, if the coaching staff will ever trust Kyle Farmer defensively behind the plate, if Austin Barnes‘ 2018 season is simply an anomaly, and whether or not Will Smith can hit big league pitching.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Will Smith Rising Quickly

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(Photo Credit: Tomo San/Los Angeles Dodgers)

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll know that occasionally we like to pick a position on the Dodgers‘ farm and discuss exactly how much minor league depth there is at that particular position. About twice per year, we take a look at catcher and analyze the top handful of prospects in the system. Up until recently, Keibert Ruiz normally headlined the list; however, at the midway point of 2018, the versatile Will Smith has seemingly overtaken Ruiz and could be on a super-fast track to the big leagues.

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Dodgers 2018 Roster: Making Sense of the Depth Chart at Catcher

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A sickness has been sweeping the Dodgers clubhouse, causing as many as 25 players to be sent home from Camelback Ranch the last few days. Thursday’s scheduled starting pitcher Ross Stripling was scratched due to the as-of-now mysterious illness. Manny Banuelos instead gets the start, a pitcher this writer has never heard of.

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