Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor was ranked the fifth-best second baseman in all of baseball for the 2019 season by MLB Network’s The Shredder. The selection marks Taylor’s first as a second baseman, although he was ranked as a top-10 center fielder a year ago.
Taylor only played nine games at second base during the regular season in 2018, spending most of his time at shortstop (80 games), center field (40 games) and left field (23 games). But he’s accumulated an 8.9 WAR at second base since the start of the 2017, which trails only Jose Altuve (13.5) and Whit Merrifield (9.4) during that span.
The Dodgers are currently without a starting second baseman in place, and if they don’t add anyone this winter through a trade or free agency, Taylor along with Kiké Hernandez and Max Muncy are expected to see the majority of the time at that position in 2019.
After a breakout campaign in 2017, Taylor regressed a bit offensively last season. He hit .254/.331/.444 with 17 home runs, 63 RBI and 85 runs scored in 155 games. The one major criticism was that he struck out too much, as Taylor led the National League with 178 strikeouts.
Taylor came up big for the Dodgers down the stretch of the season, batting .345/.433/.586 with three home runs in the month of September, and then hitting .282/.417/.436 in 15 postseason games.
One of Taylor’s biggest strengths is his versatility, and locking him into one position like second base takes some of that away. Thus, it stands to reason there is a good chance he moves all around the diamond again for the Dodgers this season.
The Dodgers’ new hitting coach, Robert Van Scoyoc, was Taylor’s personal hitting coach that helped him change his swing, which led to his breakout 2017 campaign. If he is able to regain that form then he could very well be representing the Dodgers at the All-Star Game in 2019.
|Rank||The Shredder||Mike Petriello||Vince Gennario||Ben Lindbergh|
|1||Jose Altuve (HOU)||Jose Altuve (HOU)||Jose Altuve (HOU)||Jose Altuve (HOU)|
|2||Jed Lowrie (OAK)||Whit Merrifield (KC)||Scooter Gennett (CIN)||Ozzie Albies (ATL)|
|3||Whit Merrifield (KC)||Jed Lowrie (OAK)||Whit Merrifield (KC)||Robinson Cano (NYM)|
|4||Robinson Cano (NYM)||Robinson Cano (NYM)||Ketel Marte (ARI)||Chris Taylor (LAD)|
|5||Chris Taylor (LAD)||Ozzie Albies (ATL)||Joey Wendle (TBR)||Whit Merrifield (KC)|
|6||Scooter Gennett (CIN)||Scooter Gennett (CIN)||Gleyber Torres (NYY)||Scooter Gennett (CIN)|
|7||Joey Wendle (TBR)||D.J. LeMahieu (NYY)||Kiké Hernandez (LAD)||Jed Lowrie (OAK)|
|8||Gleyber Torres (NYY)||Ben Zobrist (CHC)||Jed Lowrie (OAK)||Ben Zobrist (CHC)|
|9||Ben Zobrist (CHC)||Gleyber Torres (NYY)||D.J. LeMahieu (NYY)||Ketel Marte (ARI)|
|10||D.J. LeMahieu (NYY)||Chris Taylor (LAD)||Robinson Cano (NYM)||Gleyber Torres (NYY)|