The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Taylor made each other a priority before to the MLB began lockout, coming to terms on a four-year contract worth $60 million that includes a club option for the 2026 season.
Shortly thereafter, Taylor underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow, an injury that he played through for the second half of last season. The Dodgers are usually cautious with their players, and that recovery contributed to Taylor just getting work at the plate and second base early during Spring Training.
Nonetheless, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t believe Taylor would be inhibited much come the start of the regular season, and that’s held true.
“I felt great today,” Taylor recently said. “Hopefully it continues, but I think ever since the Freeway Series it’s felt full strength.”
During the 2021 season, Taylor hit .254/.344/.438 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and a 113 wRC+ over 148 games while seeing time at six different positions. He was also selected to his first All-Star Game.
Taylor’s production and versatility drew many suitors for his services during the offseason, including the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, among others.
Taylor ranked top-10 second baseman
Although Taylor plays several positions, he was ranked as a top-10 second baseman by MLB Network’s The Shredder heading into the 2022 season.
The Shredder focuses on a three-year sample size, with the 2021 season weighted more heavily. Notable statistics it takes into account are WAR and wRC+, while Statcast metrics are also part of the evaluation.
Thus far in 2022, Taylor has exclusively played the outfield — making nine starts in left field and one in right field.
“I think for me, the driver is C.T. coming back from surgery. So to not put him in a situation where he’s got to play with arm angles,” Roberts explained of Taylor not yet playing the infield.
“From the outfield, then to kind of shorten the stroke and throw from different angles. So to make sure he gets a 100% bill of health, and then we’ll kind of move him around more.”
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