Dodgers 2020 Season Grades: Chris Taylor
By Sean Kaufman
How well did Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor perform in 2020?
Chris Taylor is often a forgotten man in a prodigious Dodgers lineup. However, his contributions to the team should not be overlooked.
The 30-year-old utility man appeared in all but four regular season games for the Dodgers, spending time at shortstop, left field, second base, and center field. Taylor had his best season since 2017, slashing .270/.366/.476 with 10 doubles, two triples, eight homers, and 32 RBI. His 128 OPs+ in 2020 was actually a career high, granted in a smaller sample size.
Although the aforementioned sample size may have had a role, Taylor set a career high with a 12.1% walk rate as well.
Taylor is the epitome of a modern MLB player in many respects. He’s athletic enough to play anywhere on the diamond, his swing is very much a product of advanced metrics, and he strikes out a lot.
There is a lot of swing and miss in Taylor’s game, but the Dodgers’ organization really transformed him as a hitter. The Mariners encouraged him to hit the ball on the ground because of his speed, but the Dodgers retooled his swing for a more power-focused approach.
Taylor’s revised hitting philosophy has made him into a Statcast darling. CT3 ranked in the 70th percentile or better in nearly every category. His base running and defense measure favorably for the season too. Taylor struggled for most of the postseason, compiling an uninspiring 5:24 BB:K ratio, but showed signs of life during the World Series, collecting five hits, including a double and a homer in 23 at-bats.
Dodgers 2020 Season Grade: B
I’m giving Taylor a B for his 2020 effort. His slash line was solid and the metrics, although in line with his career trends, were more indicative of his breakout 2017 season.
Taylor didn’t impress at the plate in the playoffs, but found ways to contribute on the field and on the base paths. He might find himself as the everyday second baseman in 2021. And I think the Dodgers will be in good hands with him manning the position.