WILL William Michael SMITH
Nickname:   N/A Position:   LHP
Home: N/A Team:   BRAVES
Height: 6' 5" Bats:   R
Weight: 260 Throws:   L
DOB: 7/10/1989 Agent: CAA Sports
Uniform #: 13  
Birth City: Newnan, GA
Draft: Angels #7 - 2008 - Out of Gulf Coast C.C. (FL)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2008 PIO OREM   16 73 73 76 6 14 0 0 0 8 2 0.253 3.08
2009 MWL CEDAR RAPIDS   20 115 109 95 24 19 0 0 0 10 5   3.76
2010 CAR WILMINGTON   8 54.2 47 51 4 8 0 0 0 4 1   2.80
2010 TL ARKANSAS   4 18.2 33 8 9 4 0 0 0 1 2   7.23
2010 PCL SALT LAKE   9 53 65 40 20 9 0 0 0 2 4   5.60
2010 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   6 37.1 36 31 13 6 0 0 0 2 2   4.58
2011 TL NORTHWEST ARKANSAS   27 161.1 171 108 45 27 2 1 0 13 9   3.85
2012 AL ROYALS   16 89.2 111 59 33 16 0 0 0 6 9 0.313 5.32
2012 PCL OMAHA   15 89.2 104 74 22 15 0 0 0 4 4   3.61
2013 AL ROYALS   19 33.1 24 43 7 1 0 0 0 2 1 0.202 3.24
2013 PCL OMAHA   28 89 81 100 24 10 0 0 4 6 4   3.03
2014 NL BREWERS $502.00 78 65.2 62 86 31 0 0 0 1 1 3 0.248 3.70
2015 NL BREWERS $513.00 76 63.1 52 91 24 0 0 0 0 7 2 0.22 2.70
2016 SL BILOXI   1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2016 FSL BREVARD COUNTY   2 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2016 NL BREWERS $1,480.00 27 22 18 22 9 0 0 0 0 1 3 0.225 3.68
2016 NL GIANTS   26 18.1 13 26 9 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.197 2.95
2017 - DL - Tommy John $2,500.00                          
2018 PCL SACRAMENTO   6 5.2 2 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2018 CAL SAN JOSE   2 1.2 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   10.80
2018 NL GIANTS   54 53 37 71 15 0 0 0 14 2 3 0.194 2.55
2019 NL GIANTS $4,225.00 63 65.1 46 96 21 0 0 0 34 6 0 0.196 2.76
2020 NL BRAVES $4,815.00 18 16 11 18 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.19 4.50
Personal
  • Smith CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> discovered CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> Angels CLASS="highlight"> scout CLASS="highlight"> Tom CLASS="highlight"> Kotchman. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> (Casey's CLASS="highlight"> Kotchman's CLASS="highlight"> Dad, CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> also CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> manager CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Angels' CLASS="highlight"> short CLASS="highlight"> season CLASS="highlight"> team CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> Orem, CLASS="highlight"> Utah.) CLASS="highlight"> Tom CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> knack CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> finding CLASS="highlight"> fine CLASS="highlight"> talent CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> small CLASS="highlight"> colleges. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> /> CLASS="highlight"> />In CLASS="highlight"> 2008, CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> found CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> Gulf CLASS="highlight"> Coast CLASS="highlight"> Community CLASS="highlight"> College CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> Florida, CLASS="highlight"> signing CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> $150,000 CLASS="highlight"> after CLASS="highlight"> persuading CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> club CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> pick CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 7th CLASS="highlight"> round. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">
  • In CLASS="highlight"> 2009, CLASS="highlight"> Baseball CLASS="highlight"> America CLASS="highlight"> rated CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 12th-best CLASS="highlight"> prospect CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Angels' CLASS="highlight"> farm CLASS="highlight"> system. CLASS="highlight"> They CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> #15 CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> spring CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> 2010. CLASS="highlight"> But CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> poor CLASS="highlight"> season CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2010 CLASS="highlight"> left CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> book CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2011.

    In CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> spring CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> 2012, CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> rated CLASS="highlight"> 22nd-best CLASS="highlight"> prospect CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Royals CLASS="highlight"> farm CLASS="highlight"> system. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">

  • MLB. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">com: CLASS="highlight"> What's CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> one CLASS="highlight"> thing CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> fans CLASS="highlight"> might CLASS="highlight"> not CLASS="highlight"> know CLASS="highlight"> about CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> they CLASS="highlight"> should CLASS="highlight"> know?

    Smith: CLASS="highlight"> They CLASS="highlight"> might CLASS="highlight"> not CLASS="highlight"> know CLASS="highlight"> I'm CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> big CLASS="highlight"> Michael CLASS="highlight"> Jackson CLASS="highlight"> fan. CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> listening CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> Michael CLASS="highlight"> Jackson CLASS="highlight"> before CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> called. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> I

    like CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> little CLASS="highlight"> MJ CLASS="highlight"> now CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> then. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> couldn't CLASS="highlight"> pick CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> favorite CLASS="highlight"> song CLASS="highlight"> but CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> could CLASS="highlight"> tell CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> listening CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> "Number CLASS="highlight"> Ones" CLASS="highlight"> album.

  • Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith’s CLASS="highlight"> given CLASS="highlight"> name CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> fit CLASS="highlight"> because CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> “will” CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> win, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> “will” CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> work CLASS="highlight"> hard, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> “will” CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> make CLASS="highlight"> two CLASS="highlight"> people CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> shaped CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> Major CLASS="highlight"> League CLASS="highlight"> career CLASS="highlight"> proud.

    “I CLASS="highlight"> like CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> outside CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> lot, CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> able CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> go CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> golf, CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> spend CLASS="highlight"> most CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> day CLASS="highlight"> outside. CLASS="highlight"> I’m CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> competitive CLASS="highlight"> person, CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> it’s CLASS="highlight"> nice CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> there CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> compete CLASS="highlight"> against CLASS="highlight"> something CLASS="highlight"> that’s CLASS="highlight"> not CLASS="highlight"> baseball. CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> enjoy CLASS="highlight"> hunting CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> fishing CLASS="highlight"> too,” CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> said.

  • Smith CLASS="highlight"> actually CLASS="highlight"> beat CLASS="highlight"> teammate CLASS="highlight"> Kyle CLASS="highlight"> Lohse CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> golf CLASS="highlight"> match, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> Lohse CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> top CLASS="highlight"> flight CLASS="highlight"> player. CLASS="highlight"> Of CLASS="highlight"> course, CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> little CLASS="highlight"> help CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> fellow CLASS="highlight"> pitcher CLASS="highlight"> Tyler CLASS="highlight"> Thornburg CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> Brewers CLASS="highlight"> Director CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> New CLASS="highlight"> Media CLASS="highlight"> Caitlyn CLASS="highlight"> Moyer. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> threesome CLASS="highlight"> outlasted CLASS="highlight"> Lohse CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 17th CLASS="highlight"> hole.

    Like CLASS="highlight"> most CLASS="highlight"> world-class CLASS="highlight"> competitors, CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> can’t CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> enough CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> me CLASS="highlight"> vs. CLASS="highlight"> you. CLASS="highlight"> “You CLASS="highlight"> could CLASS="highlight"> say CLASS="highlight"> that. CLASS="highlight"> There’s CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> something CLASS="highlight"> about—there’s CLASS="highlight"> always CLASS="highlight"> got CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> something CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> line CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> for, CLASS="highlight"> whether CLASS="highlight"> it CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> bragging CLASS="highlight"> rights. CLASS="highlight"> We CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> got CLASS="highlight"> done CLASS="highlight"> playing CLASS="highlight"> cards CLASS="highlight"> inside. CLASS="highlight"> It’s CLASS="highlight"> something CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> simple CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> keeps CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> clubhouse CLASS="highlight"> fun, CLASS="highlight"> keeps CLASS="highlight"> guys CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> each CLASS="highlight"> other. CLASS="highlight"> It’s CLASS="highlight"> fun CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> competitive—whether CLASS="highlight"> playing CLASS="highlight"> cards CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> dealing CLASS="highlight"> pitches CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> mound. CLASS="highlight"> What CLASS="highlight"> kinda CLASS="highlight"> motivates CLASS="highlight"> me CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> pushes CLASS="highlight"> me CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> man-to-man CLASS="highlight"> competition. CLASS="highlight"> It’s CLASS="highlight"> my CLASS="highlight"> best CLASS="highlight"> stuff CLASS="highlight"> vs. CLASS="highlight"> your CLASS="highlight"> best CLASS="highlight"> stuff, CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> know? CLASS="highlight"> Let’s CLASS="highlight"> go CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> it, CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> type CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> attitude,” CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> said.

    In CLASS="highlight"> 2014, CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> went CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> got CLASS="highlight"> it—especially CLASS="highlight"> before CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> All-Star CLASS="highlight"> break. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> 25-year-old CLASS="highlight"> Georgia CLASS="highlight"> native CLASS="highlight"> went CLASS="highlight"> one-and-three CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> .370 CLASS="highlight"> ERA CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> career-high CLASS="highlight"> 78 CLASS="highlight"> relief CLASS="highlight"> appearances. CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> came CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Brewers CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> trade CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> Kansas CLASS="highlight"> City CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> outfielder CLASS="highlight"> Nori CLASS="highlight"> Aoki CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> December CLASS="highlight"> 2013.

    “I CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> absolute CLASS="highlight"> blast. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> city CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> awesome. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> fans CLASS="highlight"> were CLASS="highlight"> awesome. CLASS="highlight"> We CLASS="highlight"> started CLASS="highlight"> off CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> hot. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> team CLASS="highlight"> gelled CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> well CLASS="highlight"> together. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> older CLASS="highlight"> guys CLASS="highlight"> opened CLASS="highlight"> up CLASS="highlight"> their CLASS="highlight"> arms CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> accepted CLASS="highlight"> me. CLASS="highlight"> It CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> awesome. CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> great CLASS="highlight"> time CLASS="highlight"> my CLASS="highlight"> first CLASS="highlight"> year CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> looking CLASS="highlight"> forward CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> second CLASS="highlight"> one,” CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> said.

  • Smith CLASS="highlight"> says, CLASS="highlight"> “Look, CLASS="highlight"> I’ll CLASS="highlight"> do CLASS="highlight"> anything. CLASS="highlight"> I’ll CLASS="highlight"> even CLASS="highlight"> take CLASS="highlight"> batting CLASS="highlight"> practice CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> cage.” CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> main CLASS="highlight"> thing CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> big CLASS="highlight"> lefthander CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> wants CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> baseball CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> often CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> Ron CLASS="highlight"> Roenicke CLASS="highlight"> needs CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> use CLASS="highlight"> him—no CLASS="highlight"> complaints CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> no CLASS="highlight"> criticism.

    “It CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> kind CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> joke CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> Ron CLASS="highlight"> saying CLASS="highlight"> ‘I CLASS="highlight"> don’t CLASS="highlight"> think CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> overused CLASS="highlight"> me’ CLASS="highlight"> because CLASS="highlight"> last CLASS="highlight"> year, CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> lot CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> guys CLASS="highlight"> asked CLASS="highlight"> me CLASS="highlight"> ‘were CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> tired? CLASS="highlight"> Were CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> tired? CLASS="highlight"> Were CLASS="highlight"> you CLASS="highlight"> tired?’ CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> wasn’t CLASS="highlight"> tired. CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> wasn’t CLASS="highlight"> very CLASS="highlight"> good".

    Smith CLASS="highlight"> saying CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> wants CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> baseball CLASS="highlight"> even CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> this CLASS="highlight"> season CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> have CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> great CLASS="highlight"> ring CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> it. CLASS="highlight"> Speaking CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> rings, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> one CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> wears CLASS="highlight"> around CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> neck CLASS="highlight"> belonged CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> late CLASS="highlight"> grandfather.

    “Him CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> my CLASS="highlight"> dad CLASS="highlight"> were CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> two CLASS="highlight"> guys—my CLASS="highlight"> dad CLASS="highlight"> would CLASS="highlight"> come CLASS="highlight"> home CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> work CLASS="highlight"> after CLASS="highlight"> working CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> Delta CLASS="highlight"> all CLASS="highlight"> day CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> like CLASS="highlight"> ‘Dad, CLASS="highlight"> can CLASS="highlight"> we CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> catch?’ CLASS="highlight"> And CLASS="highlight"> then CLASS="highlight"> my CLASS="highlight"> granddaddy, CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> wouldn’t CLASS="highlight"> sit CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> bleachers. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> would CLASS="highlight"> sit CLASS="highlight"> right CLASS="highlight"> there CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> dugout CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> he’d CLASS="highlight"> sit CLASS="highlight"> there CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> whole CLASS="highlight"> game CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> absolutely CLASS="highlight"> loved CLASS="highlight"> it,” CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> said.

    Smith CLASS="highlight"> says CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> senses CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> grandfather’s CLASS="highlight"> presence CLASS="highlight"> when CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> pitching. CLASS="highlight"> “Obviously CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> up CLASS="highlight"> there CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> better CLASS="highlight"> place CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> got CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> best CLASS="highlight"> seats CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> world CLASS="highlight"> right CLASS="highlight"> now,” CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> said. CLASS="highlight"> (April CLASS="highlight"> 1, CLASS="highlight"> 2015 CLASS="highlight"> - CLASS="highlight"> Tom CLASS="highlight"> Pipines)

  • May CLASS="highlight"> 21, CLASS="highlight"> 2015: CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> got CLASS="highlight"> tossed CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> game CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> having CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> foreign CLASS="highlight"> substance CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> arm CLASS="highlight"> during CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> game CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> pitching. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> rosin CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> sunscreen CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> right CLASS="highlight"> forearm.

    The CLASS="highlight"> next CLASS="highlight"> day, CLASS="highlight"> MLB CLASS="highlight"> suspended CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> eight CLASS="highlight"> games. CLASS="highlight">   CLASS="highlight"> class="combx">He CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> only CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> fourth CLASS="highlight"> pitcher CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 10 CLASS="highlight"> years CLASS="highlight"> suspended CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> offense. CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> joined CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> select CLASS="highlight"> club CLASS="highlight"> this CLASS="highlight"> spring—pitchers CLASS="highlight"> ejected CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> using CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> foreign CLASS="highlight"> substance CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> mound. 

  • September CLASS="highlight"> 28, CLASS="highlight"> 2018: CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith's CLASS="highlight"> steady CLASS="highlight"> ascent CLASS="highlight"> toward CLASS="highlight"> winning CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants' CLASS="highlight"> Willie CLASS="highlight"> Mac CLASS="highlight"> Award CLASS="highlight"> began CLASS="highlight"> one CLASS="highlight"> year CLASS="highlight"> earlier. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> spent CLASS="highlight"> 2017 CLASS="highlight"> recovering CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> Tommy CLASS="highlight"> John CLASS="highlight"> elbow CLASS="highlight"> surgery, CLASS="highlight"> which CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> underwent CLASS="highlight"> March CLASS="highlight"> 30, CLASS="highlight"> 2017.

    The CLASS="highlight"> dignity CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> diligence CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> maintained CLASS="highlight"> during CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> recovery CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> ultimate CLASS="highlight"> return CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> San CLASS="highlight"> Francisco's CLASS="highlight"> bullpen CLASS="highlight"> gained CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> respect CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> teammates CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> coaches, CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> cast CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> most CLASS="highlight"> significant CLASS="highlight"> votes CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> award CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> represents CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> franchise's CLASS="highlight"> highest CLASS="highlight"> honor.

    The CLASS="highlight"> award CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> named CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> Willie CLASS="highlight"> McCovey, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Hall CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> Fame CLASS="highlight"> first CLASS="highlight"> baseman CLASS="highlight"> whose CLASS="highlight"> determination CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> competitive CLASS="highlight"> spirit CLASS="highlight"> inspired CLASS="highlight"> teammates CLASS="highlight"> throughout CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> 22 CLASS="highlight"> Major CLASS="highlight"> League CLASS="highlight"> seasons CLASS="highlight"> (1959-1980). CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> thanked CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> teammates CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> brief CLASS="highlight"> remarks CLASS="highlight"> during CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> pregame CLASS="highlight"> ceremony.

    "I CLASS="highlight"> love CLASS="highlight"> those CLASS="highlight"> guys CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> death," CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> said. CLASS="highlight"> After CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants' CLASS="highlight"> 3-1 CLASS="highlight"> loss CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers, CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> added, CLASS="highlight"> "I CLASS="highlight"> don't CLASS="highlight"> know CLASS="highlight"> if CLASS="highlight"> [winning CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> award] CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> sunk CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> yet—to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> same CLASS="highlight"> breath CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> Willie CLASS="highlight"> McCovey CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> past CLASS="highlight"> winners."

    In CLASS="highlight"> June, CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> replaced CLASS="highlight"> Hunter CLASS="highlight"> Strickland CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> San CLASS="highlight"> Francisco's CLASS="highlight"> closer CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> entered CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> current CLASS="highlight"> series CLASS="highlight"> against CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> 14 CLASS="highlight"> saves CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 18 CLASS="highlight"> opportunities. CLASS="highlight"> Statistically, CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> experienced CLASS="highlight"> broad CLASS="highlight"> success. CLASS="highlight"> His CLASS="highlight"> 1.90 CLASS="highlight"> ERA CLASS="highlight"> ranked CLASS="highlight"> second CLASS="highlight"> among CLASS="highlight"> NL CLASS="highlight"> relievers, CLASS="highlight"> trailing CLASS="highlight"> only CLASS="highlight"> Milwaukee's CLASS="highlight"> Jeremy CLASS="highlight"> Jeffress CLASS="highlight"> (1.33). CLASS="highlight"> His CLASS="highlight"> strikeout CLASS="highlight"> rate CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> 12.12 CLASS="highlight"> per CLASS="highlight"> nine CLASS="highlight"> innings CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> .179 CLASS="highlight"> opponents' CLASS="highlight"> batting CLASS="highlight"> average CLASS="highlight"> were CLASS="highlight"> seventh-best CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> league CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> both CLASS="highlight"> categories.

    "When CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> went CLASS="highlight"> about CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> rehab CLASS="highlight"> last CLASS="highlight"> year, CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> always CLASS="highlight"> around CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> always CLASS="highlight"> positive," CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> lefthander CLASS="highlight"> Ty CLASS="highlight"> Blach CLASS="highlight"> said. CLASS="highlight"> "He CLASS="highlight"> worked CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> butt CLASS="highlight"> off CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> here. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> wanted CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> come CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> help CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> team, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> that's CLASS="highlight"> what CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> did." CLASS="highlight"> (Chris CLASS="highlight"> Haft CLASS="highlight"> - CLASS="highlight"> MLB.com)

  • July CLASS="highlight"> 2019: CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> represented CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> All-Star CLASS="highlight"> Game. Despite CLASS="highlight"> spending CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> bulk CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> career CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> National CLASS="highlight"> League, CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> closer CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> developed CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> special CLASS="highlight"> affinity CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> Cleveland. CLASS="highlight"> In CLASS="highlight"> 2012, CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> earned CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> first CLASS="highlight"> Major CLASS="highlight"> League CLASS="highlight"> win CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> Progressive CLASS="highlight"> Field CLASS="highlight"> while CLASS="highlight"> pitching CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Royals.

    Seven CLASS="highlight"> years CLASS="highlight"> later, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> city CLASS="highlight"> proved CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> site CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> yet CLASS="highlight"> another CLASS="highlight"> key CLASS="highlight"> milestone CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> made CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> first CLASS="highlight"> Midsummer CLASS="highlight"> Classic CLASS="highlight"> appearance CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> American CLASS="highlight"> League’s CLASS="highlight"> 4-3 CLASS="highlight"> win CLASS="highlight"> over CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> NL CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 2019 CLASS="highlight"> All-Star CLASS="highlight"> Game.

  • Will CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> still CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> average CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> small CLASS="highlight"> town CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> Newnan, CLASS="highlight"> Georgia, CLASS="highlight"> 38 CLASS="highlight"> miles CLASS="highlight"> southwest CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> Atlanta. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> still CLASS="highlight"> calls CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> former CLASS="highlight"> coach, CLASS="highlight"> Greg CLASS="highlight"> Hamilton CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> Northgate CLASS="highlight"> High CLASS="highlight"> School, CLASS="highlight"> "Coach," CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> Hamilton CLASS="highlight"> admires CLASS="highlight"> how CLASS="highlight"> Swith CLASS="highlight"> donates CLASS="highlight"> money CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> old CLASS="highlight"> school CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> other CLASS="highlight"> causes CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> town. CLASS="highlight"> If CLASS="highlight"> there's CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> promising CLASS="highlight"> player CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> way CLASS="highlight"> up, CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> will CLASS="highlight"> pay CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> person's CLASS="highlight"> workouts.

    Will CLASS="highlight"> arrived CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> Northgate CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> slightly CLASS="highlight"> chunky CLASS="highlight"> ninth CLASS="highlight"> grader, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> teammate CLASS="highlight"> dubbed CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> "Baby CLASS="highlight"> Huey."

    His CLASS="highlight"> mother, CLASS="highlight"> Kay, CLASS="highlight"> says CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> Smith's CLASS="highlight"> grandmother—a CLASS="highlight"> wonderful CLASS="highlight"> Southern CLASS="highlight"> cook—lived CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> family. CLASS="highlight"> And CLASS="highlight"> "if CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> wanted CLASS="highlight"> mac CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> cheese CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> mashed CLASS="highlight"> potatoes, CLASS="highlight"> she CLASS="highlight"> made CLASS="highlight"> mac CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> cheese CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> mashed CLASS="highlight"> potatoes." CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> hit CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> growth CLASS="highlight"> spurt CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> high CLASS="highlight"> school, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> chunkiness CLASS="highlight"> evaporated.

    Will CLASS="highlight"> grew CLASS="highlight"> up CLASS="highlight"> playing CLASS="highlight"> basketball, CLASS="highlight"> soccer CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> football CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> well, CLASS="highlight"> but CLASS="highlight"> always CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> most CLASS="highlight"> fun CLASS="highlight"> playing CLASS="highlight"> baseball. CLASS="highlight"> His CLASS="highlight"> father, CLASS="highlight"> Charles, CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> been CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> state CLASS="highlight"> tennis CLASS="highlight"> champ CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> played CLASS="highlight"> baseball CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> football, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> sister CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> also CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> tennis CLASS="highlight"> star. CLASS="highlight"> (Dan CLASS="highlight"> Fost CLASS="highlight"> - CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> Magazine CLASS="highlight"> - CLASS="highlight"> June, CLASS="highlight"> 2019)

  • Smith's CLASS="highlight"> musical CLASS="highlight"> tastes CLASS="highlight"> include CLASS="highlight"> classic CLASS="highlight"> rock-and-roll, CLASS="highlight"> inspired CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> father, CLASS="highlight"> Charles.

    "I CLASS="highlight"> like CLASS="highlight"> country CLASS="highlight"> music, CLASS="highlight"> too," CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> said. CLASS="highlight"> "My CLASS="highlight"> dad CLASS="highlight"> hates CLASS="highlight"> country CLASS="highlight"> music. CLASS="highlight"> But CLASS="highlight"> my CLASS="highlight"> mother CLASS="highlight"> likes CLASS="highlight"> it."

    Will CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> taken CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> dad CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> see CLASS="highlight"> Bob CLASS="highlight"> Seger CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> Don CLASS="highlight"> Henley CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> concert.

  • Oct. CLASS="highlight"> 17, CLASS="highlight"> 2020: Something CLASS="highlight"> happened CLASS="highlight"> here, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> it CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> beautiful: CLASS="highlight"> A CLASS="highlight"> 31-year-old CLASS="highlight"> man, CLASS="highlight"> born CLASS="highlight"> William CLASS="highlight"> Michael CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> Newnan, CLASS="highlight"> Georgia, CLASS="highlight"> stood CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> top CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> 10-inch CLASS="highlight"> mound CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> dirt, CLASS="highlight"> 60 CLASS="highlight"> feet, CLASS="highlight"> 6 CLASS="highlight"> inches CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> 25-year-old CLASS="highlight"> man CLASS="highlight"> named CLASS="highlight"> William CLASS="highlight"> Dills CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> Louisville, CLASS="highlight"> Kentucky. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> atop CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> pitcher's CLASS="highlight"> mound CLASS="highlight"> throws CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> baseball CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> left CLASS="highlight"> hand. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> stood CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> batter's CLASS="highlight"> box CLASS="highlight"> swings CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> baseball CLASS="highlight"> bat CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> right CLASS="highlight"> side.

    In CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> annals CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> MLB CLASS="highlight"> postseason CLASS="highlight"> history, CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> thousands CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> games CLASS="highlight"> played, CLASS="highlight"> never CLASS="highlight"> before CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> two CLASS="highlight"> men CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> same CLASS="highlight"> name CLASS="highlight"> faced CLASS="highlight"> one CLASS="highlight"> another. CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> pitcher CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Atlanta CLASS="highlight"> Braves, CLASS="highlight"> against CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> catcher CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Los CLASS="highlight"> Angeles CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers. CLASS="highlight"> And CLASS="highlight"> it's CLASS="highlight"> important CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> note CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> they're CLASS="highlight"> both CLASS="highlight"> Will, CLASS="highlight"> because CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> vs. CLASS="highlight"> William CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> vs. CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smyth, CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> Wil CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> vs. CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> . CLASS="highlight"> . CLASS="highlight"> . CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> those CLASS="highlight"> simply CLASS="highlight"> wouldn't CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> same. CLASS="highlight"> They CLASS="highlight"> just CLASS="highlight"> wouldn't CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> history. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">

    These CLASS="highlight"> are CLASS="highlight"> grown CLASS="highlight"> men, CLASS="highlight"> remember, CLASS="highlight"> men CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> choose CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> bear CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> name CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> which CLASS="highlight"> happens CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> shared CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> person CLASS="highlight"> who, CLASS="highlight"> during CLASS="highlight"> their CLASS="highlight"> childhood, CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> arguably CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> biggest CLASS="highlight"> movie CLASS="highlight"> star CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> world. CLASS="highlight"> Each CLASS="highlight"> could CLASS="highlight"> have CLASS="highlight"> remained CLASS="highlight"> William CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> who's CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> accountant CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> banker CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> truck CLASS="highlight"> driver CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> cashier. CLASS="highlight"> Both CLASS="highlight"> instead CLASS="highlight"> chose CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> punches CLASS="highlight"> aliens CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> face. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">

    That CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> NLCS CLASS="highlight"> pitted CLASS="highlight"> them CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> perhaps CLASS="highlight"> its CLASS="highlight"> most CLASS="highlight"> vital CLASS="highlight"> moment CLASS="highlight"> made CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> confrontation CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> much CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> delicious. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Braves CLASS="highlight"> entered CLASS="highlight"> Game CLASS="highlight"> 5 CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> series CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> 3-1 CLASS="highlight"> advantage CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> games CLASS="highlight"> over CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers. CLASS="highlight"> One CLASS="highlight"> Atlanta CLASS="highlight"> win CLASS="highlight"> would CLASS="highlight"> secure CLASS="highlight"> its CLASS="highlight"> first CLASS="highlight"> World CLASS="highlight"> Series CLASS="highlight"> appearance CLASS="highlight"> since CLASS="highlight"> 1999. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Braves CLASS="highlight"> led CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers CLASS="highlight"> 2-1 CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> top CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> sixth CLASS="highlight"> inning CLASS="highlight"> when CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> dream CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> tiniest CLASS="highlight"> niche CLASS="highlight"> imaginable CLASS="highlight"> turned CLASS="highlight"> into CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> meme CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> masses. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">

    The CLASS="highlight"> at-bat CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> magnificent. CLASS="highlight"> However CLASS="highlight"> plain CLASS="highlight"> their CLASS="highlight"> names, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> two CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smiths CLASS="highlight"> who CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> baseball CLASS="highlight"> are CLASS="highlight"> very CLASS="highlight"> good. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> pitcher CLASS="highlight"> signed CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> $40 CLASS="highlight"> million CLASS="highlight"> free-agent CLASS="highlight"> contract CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Braves CLASS="highlight"> over CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> winter. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> catcher CLASS="highlight"> earlier CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> postseason CLASS="highlight"> became CLASS="highlight"> one CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> nine CLASS="highlight"> players CLASS="highlight"> ever CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> record CLASS="highlight"> five CLASS="highlight"> hits CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> playoff CLASS="highlight"> game.

    Old CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> threw CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> first-pitch CLASS="highlight"> curveball CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> bent CLASS="highlight"> it CLASS="highlight"> into CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> top CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> zone CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> strike CLASS="highlight"> one. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> benefited CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> plate CLASS="highlight"> umpire CLASS="highlight"> Dan CLASS="highlight"> Iassogna's CLASS="highlight"> friendly CLASS="highlight"> strike CLASS="highlight"> zone CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> called CLASS="highlight"> strike CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> fastball CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> inside CLASS="highlight"> corner. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> During CLASS="highlight"> at-bats CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> which CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> went CLASS="highlight"> down CLASS="highlight"> 0-2 CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> season, CLASS="highlight"> Young CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> hit CLASS="highlight"> only CLASS="highlight"> .174.

    He CLASS="highlight"> took CLASS="highlight"> two CLASS="highlight"> fastballs, CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> 94 CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> 95 CLASS="highlight"> mph, CLASS="highlight"> high CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> inside CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> even CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> count. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> spit CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> near-perfect CLASS="highlight"> slider—one CLASS="highlight"> closer CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> plate CLASS="highlight"> than CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> pitch CLASS="highlight"> Iassogna CLASS="highlight"> called CLASS="highlight"> strike CLASS="highlight"> two. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> count CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> full. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> runners CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> first CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> second CLASS="highlight"> would CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> moving CLASS="highlight"> with CLASS="highlight"> two CLASS="highlight"> outs. CLASS="highlight"> As CLASS="highlight"> soon CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> low-and-inside CLASS="highlight"> 94.5 CLASS="highlight"> mph CLASS="highlight"> fastball CLASS="highlight"> arrived, CLASS="highlight"> it CLASS="highlight"> exited CLASS="highlight"> precisely CLASS="highlight"> 10 CLASS="highlight"> mph CLASS="highlight"> faster. CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> ball CLASS="highlight"> soared CLASS="highlight"> into CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> night CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> Globe CLASS="highlight"> Life CLASS="highlight"> Field.

    Smith CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Dodger CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> not CLASS="highlight"> known CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> expressions CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> joy. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> Ancient CLASS="highlight"> philosophers CLASS="highlight"> would CLASS="highlight"> marvel CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> stoicism. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> So CLASS="highlight"> Smith's CLASS="highlight"> reaction CLASS="highlight"> illustrated CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> import CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> moment. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> bounded CLASS="highlight"> down CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> first-base CLASS="highlight"> line, CLASS="highlight"> caterwauling CLASS="highlight"> toward CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> dugout, CLASS="highlight"> rounding CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> bases CLASS="highlight"> having CLASS="highlight"> given CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> lead CLASS="highlight"> they CLASS="highlight"> wouldn't CLASS="highlight"> relinquish. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers CLASS="highlight"> won CLASS="highlight"> 7-3. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">  CLASS="highlight"> (Jeff CLASS="highlight"> Passan, CLASS="highlight"> ESPN)  CLASS="highlight"> (Editor's CLASS="highlight"> note: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Dodgers CLASS="highlight"> went CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> beat CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Tampa CLASS="highlight"> Bay CLASS="highlight"> Rays CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 2020 CLASS="highlight"> World CLASS="highlight"> Series. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June CLASS="highlight"> 2008: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Angels CLASS="highlight"> chose CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 7th CLASS="highlight"> round, CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> Gulf CLASS="highlight"> Coast CLASS="highlight"> Community CLASS="highlight"> College CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> Florida.

  • July CLASS="highlight"> 22, CLASS="highlight"> 2010: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Royals CLASS="highlight"> sent CLASS="highlight"> INF CLASS="highlight"> Alberto CLASS="highlight"> Callaspo CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Angels, CLASS="highlight"> acquiring CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> RHP CLASS="highlight"> Sean CLASS="highlight"> O'Sullivan.

  • December CLASS="highlight"> 2013: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Brewers CLASS="highlight"> sent CLASS="highlight"> OF CLASS="highlight"> Norichika CLASS="highlight"> Aoki CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Royals, CLASS="highlight"> acquiring CLASS="highlight"> Smith.

  • January CLASS="highlight"> 15, CLASS="highlight"> 2016: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Brewers CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> avoided CLASS="highlight"> arbitration CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> agreeing CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> one-year CLASS="highlight"> contract CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> $1.5 CLASS="highlight"> million.

  • August CLASS="highlight"> 1, CLASS="highlight"> 2016: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Brewers CLASS="highlight"> sent CLASS="highlight"> LHP CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> C CLASS="highlight"> Andrew CLASS="highlight"> Susac CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> RHP CLASS="highlight"> Phil CLASS="highlight"> Bickford.

  • Jan CLASS="highlight"> 13, CLASS="highlight"> 2017: CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> avoided CLASS="highlight"> arbitration, CLASS="highlight"> agreeing CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> terms CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> one-year CLASS="highlight"> deal CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> $2.5 CLASS="highlight"> million.

  • Jan CLASS="highlight"> 12, CLASS="highlight"> 2018: CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> avoided CLASS="highlight"> arbitration, CLASS="highlight"> agreeing CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> one-year CLASS="highlight"> deal CLASS="highlight"> worth CLASS="highlight"> $2.5 CLASS="highlight"> million.

  • Jan CLASS="highlight"> 11, CLASS="highlight"> 2019: CLASS="highlight"> Will CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Giants CLASS="highlight"> avoided CLASS="highlight"> arbitration, CLASS="highlight"> agreeing CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> one-year CLASS="highlight"> deal CLASS="highlight"> worth CLASS="highlight"> $4.2 CLASS="highlight"> million.

  • Oct CLASS="highlight"> 31, CLASS="highlight"> 2019: CLASS="highlight"> Smith CLASS="highlight"> chose CLASS="highlight"> free CLASS="highlight"> agency. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">

  • Nov CLASS="highlight"> 14, CLASS="highlight"> 2019: CLASS="highlight"> The CLASS="highlight"> Braves CLASS="highlight"> signed CLASS="highlight"> free CLASS="highlight"> agent CLASS="highlight"> Smith, CLASS="highlight"> 30, CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> three-year, CLASS="highlight"> $40 CLASS="highlight"> million CLASS="highlight"> deal. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> It CLASS="highlight"> includes CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> $13 CLASS="highlight"> million CLASS="highlight"> option CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> 2023. 
Pitching
  • Will has a 90-96 mph four-seam FASTBALL, an 88-92 mph two-seam SINKER (he rarely uses), and a fine 77-80 mph big-breaking CURVEBALL that he can add and subtract velocity from. He doesn't have feel for a CHANGEUP.

    Smith also has an 80-83 mph SLIDER as his super weapon vs. righthanded hitters.  (Spring, 2018)

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: Four-seam Fastball: 49% of the time; Sinker .5% of the time; Slider 36.2%; and Curve 14.6% of the time.

  • 2017: Did not pitch.
  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 46.1% of the time; Change 1.1%; Slider 36.5%; and Curve 16.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.3 mph, Change 87.9, Slider 81.8, and Curve 78.1 mph.

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 47% of the time; Change 1.8%; Slider 42.1%; and Curve 9% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 92.9 mph, Change 87.4, Slider 81.8, and Curve 77.5 mph.

  • 2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 44.8% of the time; Slider 47.8%; and Curve 7.4% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.4 mph, Slider 82.2, and Curve 78.5 mph.

  • Smith is a big lefthander with a real feel for pitching. He works both sides of the plate and changes pitches very effectively. He has been one of the best set-up men in baseball for a few years, now, finishing among the league leaders in games pitched while consistently striking out more than 10 batters per inning. (July, 2019)

    He is not flashy, but he controls the strike zone well. And he is equally effective against both righthanded and lefthanded hitters.

  • Will comes at hitters from a good downhill plane. His crossfire delivery gives him some deception.

  • Smith is a fast worker. He gets the ball back from the catcher and throws it again. He has good composure on the mound. It is something you either have, or you don't have it; and Will has it.

  • Smith's best pitch is his so-called "Slider of Death." "It's saved my career," Smith said. "I wouldn't say I was stalling out, but every start was an absolute grind."

    He had briefly thrown sliders in high school, but they hurt his arm, so he stopped. Royals pitching coordinator Bill Fischer and Northwest Arkansas pitching coach Larry Carter thought he'd grown enough by 2011 to try again.

    Smith was game, and he canvassed the clubhouse asking other pitchers about their grips. He found one he liked from lefthanded reliever Kevin Chapman.

    "It was probably 2013 that I was finally comfortable with it," Smith said. "Going to the 'pen probably helped me throw it sharper and harder. I'm pretty confident now, whether it's a lefthander or a righthander."  (McCalvy - mlb.com - 5/1//14)

  • 2018 Season: Smith struck out 30 of the 72 lefthanded batters he faced in 2018 and is plenty tough on righties, who went 5-for-52 (.096) against his slider.

  • July 8, 2019: Smith has been one of the best relievers in the National League, going a perfect 23-for-23 in save opportunities while logging a 1.98 ERA over 36 innings. Smith’s streak of 23 consecutive saves to start the season is the club’s longest since Rod Beck converted 28 straight in 1994.

    Smith, is averaging 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings, the highest rate of his career, and he has held opposing batters to a .486 OPS, the fourth-lowest mark among NL relievers. His slider has been a wipeout pitch for him, as opponents have hit only .100 (6-for-60) against it with a .200 slugging percentage, according to Baseball Savant.

  • Smith discusses his signature slider:  “I was in Double-A with the Royals, starting, and was basically a two-pitch guy: I was fastball-curveball. They called me into the office and told me, ‘You might want to develop a third pitch.’ So I walked around the clubhouse that day and asked all of the left-handed pitchers if they threw sliders, and if so, how they held it. Kevin Chapman had the grip that felt best in my hand. I played catch with him for the next two or three weeks. We made it a cutter, and then we started shaping it and making it more of a slider.

    “At first, Chappy was like, ‘We’re not going to make it be a slider to begin with; let’s try to make it move this much today; let’s make it move this much tomorrow.’ It was kind of a crawl-walk-run mentality. We weren’t going to come out of the gate firing.

    “The way I grip it now is the same as what he showed me in Double-A. I’ve just become more consistent with the pitch over all these years. You learn your release points to make it be a strike, or make it be a ball. You learn how it comes out of your hand. That takes time. You have to play with it, just like with any pitch. You learn the shapes. At the same time, I’m not necessarily manipulating it; I’m just trying to get my hand in a certain spot and letting it to do what it’s supposed to do.

    “I don’t like to overthink, or dig too much into the numbers or video, on my pitches. As long as something is working, I’m going to keep going with it. I like to keep everything simple. You know, keep it simple stupid. The KISS method is what I try to roll by.” (David Laurila -Fangraphs - July 8, 2019)

  • 2019 Season: Smith was a reliable closing option for San Francisco throughout the season, saving a personal best 34 games in 38 chances. And finishing with a 2.76 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 96 strikeouts in 65  innings.

  • 2020 Season: Smith missed the beginning of the season because of COVID-19 and then gave up four home runs in his first seven outings.

    His ERA in eight August appearances was 5.87 with 5 runs in 7.2 innings on 7 hits and 1 walk with 8 strikeouts.

    That carried over into September where he gave up a home run in two of his first three outings that month.  But then he was lights out over his next six outings allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk over 4.1 innings with 4 strikeouts.

    Smith ended the regular season giving up another home run making that 7 home runs allowed on the year in just 16 innings. Seven of the 11 hits he gave up on the year left the yard — that seems impossible. It seemed like he had turned a corner late in September though, and going into the playoffs. In his first five postseason appearances, he didn’t allow a single run over 5.1 innings with 7 strikeouts.

    But he struggled mightily in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, allowing a run on a hit and 2 walks before getting pulled. And then he gave up the big home run to the other Will Smith in Game 5, which swung all the momentum to LA.

    Brian Snitker didn’t give him another shot in Games 6 and 7. (Jake Mastroianni - Jan. 6, 2021)

  • As of the start of the 2021 season, Smith's career record was 28-24 with a 3.56 ERA, having allowed 52 home runs and 374 hits in 426 innings.  Will had also converted 49 saves out of 75 opportunities, (65.3%)
Fielding
  • Will does a great job of controlling the running game, keeping the stolen bases against him way down.
Career Injury Report
  • April 20, 2009: Smith was on the D.L. with the Cedar Rapids (MWL-Angels) Kernels for about a week with a left hamstring strain.

  • July 12–mid-August 2009: Will was on the D.L. with a lower back strain.

  • March 25-June 1, 2016: Will suffered a torn ligament in his right knee while taking his spikes off after a game. 

    Smith said he was getting ready to shower after pitching in a minor league game and was standing on one leg to take off his other shoe when he lost his balance and twisted the knee.

    "I pulled hard [on the shoe] and it stayed on," he said. "My knee just went up and popped. Everyone tells you there is nothing you can do about it, but you still feel like you are letting people down."

    Smith tore his lateral collateral ligament, which is on the outside of the knee and connects the femur to the lower leg. The right leg is the plant leg for the lefthander and absorbs the most impact.

  • February 22, 2017: The Giants learned that Will has inflammation in his throwing elbow.

    March 23-Nov 3, 2017: Smith was on the D.L. after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

    March 29-May 2, 2018: Smith was on the D.L. while recovering from the T.J. surgery.

  • July 4-Aug 6, 2020: Will was on the IL.