After a disappointing 2022 campaign, Chris Taylor spent most of the offseason working with Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coaches to make adjustments to his swing. He also visited the Driveline Baseball facility as part of his quest to improve this year.
Unfortunately for Taylor, his struggles carried over into the beginning of Spring Training. He at one point went hitless in seven consecutive Cactus League games and had four straight with multiple strikeouts.
As Spring Training was drawing to an end, Taylor began to find more success. He closed out exhibition play by going 1-for-2 with a double and two walks in the Freeway Series finale against the Los Angeles Angels.
“Yeah, definitely better. It’s good to finally start trend in the right direction,” Taylor said of his swing. “I felt like the last three games I had some good at-bats, so trending upwards. Still not where I know I can be, but definitely feel like I’m in a good place. I feel a lot better now.”
Earlier this spring, Taylor noted his focus was primarily on improving its efficiency rather than bat speed. “It’s been a progression. I kind of knew what I wanted to do to get the right bat path and cover some of those pitches up in the zone that I was missing,” he explained.
“I kind of had to tinker through the rhythm of it and timing of it to make sure my moves were done efficiently. It took me longer than I wanted to, but I feel like it’s really close now.”
Taylor hit an overall .158/.294/.333 with one double, three home runs, six RBI and 25 strikeouts in 20 Spring Training games, but he is not necessarily concerned about the results. “To me, it’s not even about stats,” Taylor began.
“The way I’m feeling right now, it’s the quality of the at-bats I’ve been having. I’m just kind of focusing on these last few games and building off of that.
“I feel like I’ve been having good ABs and I’m really not thinking about the rest of Spring Training. Try to forget that and head into the season on a positive note.”
Chris Taylor preparing to play infield and outfield
Traditionally a utility man, Taylor is poised to again play all over the diamond for the Dodgers this season. He will be part of a platoon in left field with David Peralta, and also could make occasional starts at shortstop and third base.
“Same way I have been,” Taylor answered when asked how he will manage playing the infield and outfield. “I try to get reps in the infield and outfield in batting practice, just making sure I treat those BP reps like game reps so I’m ready when I get in there.”
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