Chris Taylor has emerged as one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ most valuable players in recent years due to his above-average hitting and ability to play all over the field.
While he isn’t necessarily tied to just one position, ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked Taylor a top-10 second baseman heading into the 2022 season. Olney amassed his annual list by receiving input from evaluators and others around baseball.
Taylor was ranked No. 8 on the list, which is behind Marcus Semien of the Texas Rangers (No. 1), Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, Ozzie Albies of the Atlanta Braves, Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays, Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds, Jake Cronenworth of the San Diego Padres, and Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals.
Rounding out the top 10 are Jean Segura of the Philadelphia Phillies and Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees. Honorable mentions included Kolten Wong (Milwaukee Brewers), Jorge Polanco (Minnesota Twins) and Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals).
Taylor received most of his opportunities in center field last season, but Olney listed him as a second baseman due to Corey Seager signing with the Texas Rangers and Trea Turner likely filling the void at shortstop.
Taylor batted .254/.344/.438 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs, 73 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 582 plate appearances last season (148 games). He was instrumental to the Dodgers withstanding a rash of injuries as he saw time at six different positions.
Taylor went on to hit .351/.419/.784 in 11 playoff games and most notably lifted the Dodgers past the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card Game with a walk-off home run.
Taylor earned a first career All-Star Game selection, and was the recipient of the organization’s 2021 Heart & Hustle Award and the 16th Roy Campanella Award. The honor is given annually to one player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.
Taylor didn’t prioritize money
As more teams place an emphasis on versatility, Taylor was a popular free agent before re-signing with the Dodgers on a four-year contract at the start of December.
His representatives reportedly informed interested teams that salary was not a driving factor and Taylor preferred to remain with the Dodgers.
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