Chris Taylor was a breakout star for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, taking over as their everyday center fielder and leadoff man by putting together an All-Star-caliber campaign.
Taylor wasn’t quite able to replicate that success in 2018 though as he hit .254/.331/.444 with 17 home runs and 63 RBI while. He led the National League with 178 strikeouts in 155 games.
With the Dodgers going platoon-heavy in their lineups over the last month of the season and in the postseason, Taylor has found himself out of the lineup most of the time against right-handed pitchers.
“It’s kind of been a lot of ups and downs, more so this year than last,” Taylor said. “Last year, I felt like I was in a good spot for the majority of the year, and this year was a little bit more of a battle. I had a couple really bad months where I struggled and a big part of it, I wasn’t on time for the fastball. I wasn’t seeing the ball as well as I wanted to.”
He had a monster month of September, batting .345/.433/.586 with three home runs and 16 runs scored in 25 games. Taylor has carried that success into the postseason, going 6-for-12 with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored in five games.
“Mechanically, I’m in the best spot I’ve been all year,” Taylor said. “Really ever since the end of August, beginning of September is when I feel like I’ve been at my best.”
The Milwaukee Brewers are throwing a right-hander in Jhoulys Chacin in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series, so Taylor will likely be coming off the bench for Los Angeles.
Given his positional flexibility, it will be interesting to see if he begins to crack the lineup every when righties are on the mound though if he continues to swing the bat as well as he has.
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