Welcome to part ten of the annual Dodgers Nation player grades and season reviews, this time for the 2022 season. Up next in the series is a big star who had a big down year: Chris Taylor. Check out the full series here.
A lot of Dodgers players had really good years in 2022; Chris Taylor wasn’t one of them. In his first season after signing a four-year, $60 million deal to stay with Los Angeles, CT3 posted his worst offensive season since turning himself into a good baseball player before the 2017 season.
The good news is, there might be light at the end of the tunnel. So let’s talk about the bad so we can get to the potential good.
Fan Vote Results
Like our poll for Cody Bellinger, the CT3 poll, in hindsight, might have benefited from omitting the option for the A grade and including D instead. Eighty percent of the respondents chose either C or F, and a good chunk of them probably would have given him a D if it had been an option.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) December 30, 2022
With 1,895 fans voting, 59.8% gave Taylor a C and 20.2 gave him an F. A full 16.5% gave Taylor a B, which seems high. For that matter, even thought it’s a smaller number, the 3.5% who gave him an A seems too high, too.
Dodgers Nation Take
This was probably a D season for CT3. He’s never been much of a contact hitter, but his 35.2% strikeout rate in 2022 was by far the highest of his career. His career K rate was 27.5% coming into the season, and his highest mark in a full season was 29.5%.
The rest of Taylor’s underlying numbers were in line with what his career. His home run rate was down a bit, but not ridiculously so. Same for his hard-hit rate, fly ball rate, BABIP, etc. In essence, when he hit the ball, he was mostly the same old CT3 — he just didn’t hit the ball much.
Taylor’s defensive value was also limited. He had elbow surgery last offseason, which limited his ability to play the infield, so his value as a utility player was limited. He wasn’t bad defensively, but his greatest asset — versatility — was severely hampered.
In addition to the elbow surgery, Taylor had two new injuries this season, a fractured foot in July and a recurring neck injury at the end of the season. It’s unlikely those injuries were a major factor in his struggles; his strikeout rate was actually a little better after the fractured foot than before.
The big question is how much the elbow surgery affected his offense. Taylor has said his swing never felt right all season, and he’s hoping a full offseason of work will fix things.
That’s the big question: What’s next? If Taylor’s hard work this offseason pays off, his return to form next season could be a huge boon to the Dodgers. L.A. won 111 games last season with almost no contributions from Taylor or Bellinger and lesser contributions from Max Muncy. Bellinger is gone and Muncy picked things up in the second half of the season, so Taylor’s potential resurgence could be a big deal.
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