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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Dodgers Announce Non-Roster Invitees to 2018 Spring Training

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

With the arrival of spring camp just a mere two weeks away, the Dodgers on Tuesday afternoon announced the list of 22 players who will be non-roster invites.

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A Quick Glance at the Dodgers’ Organizational Depth at Catcher

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(Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

While there aren’t an overwhelming number of trade rumors surrounding the Dodgers as this winter’s hot stove approaches, there has been a bit of conjecture regarding catcher Yasmani Grandal¬†and whether or not he’ll last the entire season in Los Angeles.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Broussard, Somsen, Rios, Peters & More

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

While many fans of the Dodgers have recently been mulling over the numerous roster transactions and watching the Boys in Blue hover around the .500 mark, it’s been business as usual down on the farm, where a handful of blue chippers are on the rise across several different levels of the organization.

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Dodgers Prospects: A Quick Look at Keibert Ruiz

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(Mandatory Credit: Michael Grennell)

Up until a few years ago, the catching talent over the entirety of the Dodgers‘ farm system may have been considered downright barren. However, after acquiring Austin Barnes via trade in December of 2014, and selecting the highly regarded Will Smith in the first round of the 2016 draft, the organization took a big step towards being adequately stocked. Yet the catcher who could have perhaps the highest ceiling in the whole system, Keibert Ruiz, is still flying under the radar in terms of his reputation among the fan base.

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Dodgers Prospects: A Closer Look at Will Smith

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(MiLB.com Photo)

As spring training games for minor league affiliates of the Dodgers are slated to begin on Monday, we thought it would be an opportune time to scatter in a few more profiles of some of the best prospects on the organization’s farm. Today, we turn our attention to 21-year-old Will Smith, who many pundits believe to have the highest ceiling of all the catchers in the entire system.

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