Things haven’t gone smoothly at the plate for Chris Taylor this year.
The Dodger outfielder is slashing .208/.272/.455 through 54 games this season, the batting average being a career low since he’s been a full time player.
He is providing power at the plate though, hitting 10 homers and 22 RBI on the year, and the former All-Star feels if he’s finding his rhythm at the plate, he told SportsNet LA’s Kirsten Watson.
“This year as a whole is kind of been up and down, or more down early and then better recently in the last month or so I’ve been feeling better. So just kind of trying to ride that on keep going and continue to improve. I feel like in the last month I’ve been trending upward. Trying to keep that going and play good baseball.”
Although the numbers don’t clearly back up the eight-year Dodger’s assertion, he’s continually improving as the year goes on.
Over his last 15 games, Taylor is slashing .256/.333/.488 with three home runs and four runs batted in.
All told, although that could be considered moderate improvement, it’s a positive trend nonetheless for Taylor as he tries to recapture his previous form.
He told Watson that his ability to slow things down mechanically is a big reason behind his increased production.
“I think I’ve been in a better place mechanically like more consistent being able to take the same approach and same feels into the game every day has been nice. Last year and the beginning of this year, I felt like I was constantly searching, which is never a good feeling. I still tinker here and there, but overall, no drastic changes which has allowed me to get more consistent results.”
Being mired in a prolonged slump is one of the more difficult areas of the sport — level aside — and Taylor’s recent approach to try to relax in the box is helping him in his attempt to come through the struggles.
“I think it’s finding that balance of being able to relax in the box and kind of trust everything and not trying to force the results. … So I think it’s sort of just taking it one day at a time and that’s been a big thing for me the last month or so is, you know, when I’m in there trying to find a way to relax as much as I can and release that tension and I think when you’re in that state, you’re you’re able to react better and see the ball better and the ball slows down a little bit.”
Taylor’s work at the plate has been better in June, even if the results still haven’t been up to par, and if he can eventually find those results, his bat will be significant for the Dodgers as they get closer to the stretch run.
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