Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Chris Taylor Is Battling His Own Swing

Without question, Chris Taylor is one of the easiest Dodgers to pull for. Quietly going about his business and willing to play any position, he provides the team with versatility and value. Furthermore – when a guy like this struggles – it’s tough to watch.

Currently, Taylor is hitting just .219 this spring with a .577 OPS. His strikeouts have piled up at an alarming rate. Recently, Taylor told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register he’s battling to find his way offensively.

Moreover, Taylor expressed to Plunkett what may have been the start of troubles this spring.

“I felt good the first week (of spring training) and then I think I just tried to make too many changes at once,” Taylor said. “I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind.”

When a hitter makes changes, it’s not always for the better. Familiarity usually breeds comfort in terms of offensive approach.

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Equally important, Taylor admits that the seed of struggle was planted long before 2019 spring training got underway. Pointing to the struggles of 2019

“I thought it was a disappointing year, honestly,” he said. “I just felt mechanically I wasn’t in a great spot last year. The bat path was the biggest thing. In ’17, I thought I got on plane a little earlier and there was more room for error. A little flatter through the zone. I thought I was able to catch balls deeper so if my timing wasn’t perfect I was still able to shoot them the other way and still get hits. Last year, I felt I had to catch everything a tick more out front and if I was late I was underneath it. Then that forced me to have to cheat a lot of times to hit fastballs.”

Taylor sounds like a player who will find his way. Indeed, he must give trust the approach that has provided him with a track record of success. Personally, I believe in Taylor; and he will find a way to provide solid value as a regular to the 2019 Dodgers.

How concerned are you with Taylor in 2019? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Very,,,Taylor’s swing in 17′ was beautiful and then in 18′ he started to get violent believing he’s is or could be a 30+ homer guy and bought into the launch angle theory. The stress on his face after every swing and miss is growing more obvious. He needs to concentrate on contact and like in 17′, he’ll power 20+ homers along with a more hits and quite a few less strikeouts. He not only hurt his swing but his mental approach has been damaged by the launch and false belief in being a power hitter.

    1. Yes too many guys want to hit 30 HR’ and mess up their mechanics. Taylor 2017 was dangerous offensively he made contact in RISP situations.

      We can all hope he does not get into a funk like Barnes and struggle. Taylor did fight himself most of 2018.

    2. Chris has proven to be a great defensive player in his position, but I don’t understand why the batting coach can’t help him in this correction. That’s the role of the batting coach. Do your job!

      1. The batting coach can’t help unless Taylor accepts he has an image problem…he sees himself as something he isn’t and the more/harder he tries to be/believe it….swing and miss at the plate and any corrections attempted.

  2. I thought CTs swing was too big in ’17 and again last year. The difference? I think the pitchers learned to pitch to him and that started him pressing and the cycle began. Swing path is just another way to describe launch angle, your swing path gets you the lunch angle, but if the pitchers are finding your weakness neither of those things matter. I really don’t think he is a HR guy but his swing surely is, so his strike outs are always going to be up there. What ever happened to just getting on base?

  3. I think it’s a simple answer. CT is a guy that had his one career year in 2017. That year was an anomaly and last year and what he’s doing in ST is likely the real CT. Not sure what his career looked like prior to 2017, but I’d guess it was more like 2018 than 2017.

        1. Earlier in the year we interviewed Brant Brown. I’ll check in with Brant again soon on CT3, but he seemed encouraged about getting Taylor back with Robert Van Scoyoc (who originally helped craft Taylor’s swing).

          1. Clint..Look forward to that thank you! I am sure you will ask about all of the guys? Barnes looks great but CT3, Muncy, Pollock and Pederson not so much.

  4. Wish CT would cut down when he gets behind in the count. The difference could make him a .288 hitter like 2017. He had 36 more K’s last year and his average was 34 points lower. I get a feeling his playing time may be a lot less this year. Hernandez is close to locking down 2nd base. Both are great fielders. But I think Kike could have an eye opening year if he plays every day.

  5. Don’t look now folks but the entire Dodger offense, whoever is on the field at a given time this ST is struggling a bit with strikeouts. Although Dodgers beat the Reds 8 to 1 last night they struck out 15 more times. I thought that was something this team was going to address this ST, WSS.

    1. Scary watching them whiff repeatedly!! Before he sat out Muncy was way off on breaking balls outside and in the dirt, no clue about them. He has to prove he is not a one year wonder as does Taylor. Kike had a great year last year and looks good this year. Thankfully Barnes looks much like 2017 rather than the 2018 version.

      You have to wonder what these very touted Hitting Coaches have addressed as the team looks to be swinging and missing even more than last year.

      Bellinger looks great and then not so great. Hopefully they let him play full time along with Kike and Verdugo and see how they play. Pollock is not having a good spring either. The only bright spot has been guys like Rios, Peters, Downs and the pitchers…..Garcia is untouchable so far.

  6. All this is hard to take. Strikeouts continue to haunt the Dodgers lineup. I too am perplexed that the same struggles persist. IMO, Taylor needs to concentrate on just making contact and stop swinging so hard. Seager still concerns me. Not sure he’s going to be what everybody is hoping for. Kershaw is problematic unfortunately. Kike is a bright spot. Hoping for great things from him. Barnes looks better and if he can have a year like 2017 I’ll be happy. Muncy…who knows? Turner looks ok. Belly has moments but I still think he swings too hard. Lots of unknowns still. Pollock needs to have a good year in quick order. Hoping for the best.

  7. We had to know this team would be all talk in the offseason regarding cutting down on the strikeouts and just looking to get on base. They brought that new hitting coach in and there’s two things that could be happening here. 1: He’s just a shill and the sabre nerds are running the hitting strategy or 2: our players don’t want to follow this guys way of hitting because they aren’t team players they just want to get that Sabre money by hitting 25+ homeruns while batting .250 and squandering scoring chances.

  8. Lets just wait and see.Hold on to your seats it,s going to be a whole lot of fun no matter what the out come.can,t wait.BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I’m not encouraged by what I’ve seen this spring from CT3. I thought in 2018 he had the head of the bat below his hands and therefore couldn’t get to the ball up in the zone. From what I’ve seen this spring, that hasn’t changed. I’m rooting for him but am not optimistic at this point.

  10. He has a terrible swing. Great guy sure we all would like him to do well, Pederson is the same. And the Dodgers continue to leave guys out of the lineup who make contact like Verdugo. If the dodgers made sense and looked for more like Verdugo to compliment the lineup they would be a lot better off.

    1. I agree. It’s almost as if they’re looking at someone else. They had Joc leading off so msny times. A guy that strikes out and has some power? Sounds more like a 5 or7 slot in the order. Verdugo should get his chance, absolutely. I would have tried to trade Joc and signed Adam Jones.

  11. I beginning to equate “launch angle” as a four-letter word. It is messing with a few hitter who think they are homerun/power hitter when in reality they are Not.

  12. Nice piece Clint! Thanks for the insight, but with the “fickle” business of major league baseball, CT better get it together or he’ll be an “end of the bench” late inning defensive replacement making the league minimum for a team other than the Dodgers. And that won’t last very long. I’m praying for the kid to get it together, Go Blue!

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