The success of the Los Angeles Dodgers has come from an unlikely source. The reason it is unlikely is because when you look at the player from last season you wouldn’t expect this kind of breakout year. All the talk has been about Cody Bellinger and rightfully so, but Chris Taylor has made a massive impact and is one of the reasons the Dodgers are in the World Series. Especially when considering Corey Seager, the starting shortstop, has recently missed some time in the postseason, the Dodgers still felt confident with Taylor playing the position.
When the Dodgers took a gamble by acquiring Chris Taylor from the Seattle Mariners. I don’t think anyone expected this big of a turnaround. Chris Taylor hadn’t lived up to his expectations basically having several opportunities to be the everyday shortstop. He had been with the organization for a few seasons and never saw any major steps forward. In 86 games played with the Seattle Mariners he didn’t hit a home run. His OPS was 0.593 and his average over the three years was .240. Now his current average with the Dodgers in the regular season was .288 with 21 home runs. Chris Taylor has improved in every category since coming to Los Angeles. The Dodgers took that risk in trading for him.
The gamble the Los Angeles Dodgers took found them someone to hit lead off and that’s exactly what Chris Taylor brought. He’s the Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs where the multiple position super utility role player really pays off. Chris Taylor has done everything the Dodgers hoped he would do like provide power in the leadoff spot and provide good speed.
Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, attributes Chris Taylor’s breakout season to a change in his swing. There’s an adjustment in his swing that’s helped him hit so many home runs and have a decent average. Dodgers third baseman, Justin Turner, also has some credit in helping with Chris Taylor’s comeback as he’s helped teach him how to be a better hitter.
Chris Taylor is simply unstoppable. Three of the home runs hit out of the 21 were grand slams. If that’s not a good enough statistic his WAR was 4.8 and his OPS hasn’t dipped much from right to left handed pitchers. The OPS splits are 0.837 versus a left handed pitcher and 0.855 when he faces a right handed pitcher which really isn’t that big of a difference. When he hits lead off versus the Houston Astros most will want to compare him to George Springer and Chris Taylor is deserving of that comparison.
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