Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Chris Taylor Is MLB’s Worst Hitter On Pitches Down the Middle

Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor has a swing designed for the big leagues. It isn’t his natural swing or the one that got him drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2012. It is one he built to reach the major leagues and has kept him there since 2017.

The mechanics of his swing are forever changing which has left Taylor’s swing with one of the largest launch angles in Major League Baseball. That egregious angle leaves him susceptible to a high whiff rate, especially on pitches middle-middle or up in the zone.

His natural swing, the one he had in college at the University of Virginia, produced groundballs and line drives, only hitting seven home runs in his three years as a Cavalier. However, he only struck out 94 times in 580 at-bats across 156 games.

College ball is far from the majors ,but his uppercut was designed to create lift, basically to hit home runs. He has done that to some degree, but with more home runs came more strikeouts. In 2017, he hit 21 home runs for the Dodgers but struck out 142 times in 140 games.

The new swing must work when you produce 20-plus home runs right?


Since then, he has only one other season with at least 20 dingers and that was 2021. He was named an All-Star for the first time and signed a four-year, $60 million contract after. It has been downhill from there.

According to Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs, Taylor has had strikeout rates of 35.2 percent in 2022 and 32.6 percent in 2023 and has hit just .211/.303/.362 since a foul ball fractured his left foot on July 6, 2022. He’s at .051/.208/.051 with a 39.6 percent strikeout rate in 48 plate appearances this season barreling up just one ball.

To the average fan, it’s shocking that Taylor is the worst hitter with pitches thrown down the middle in the entire league. He sees meat a little more than 11 percent of the time. He has fouled off almost 55 percent of the 22 meatballs he has seen. Yet, he has come up empty.

Taylor has always been known to be a streaky hitter but the start to this season is a little much. So, why doesn’t he return to his natural swing?

Easier said than done. This new swing has taken years of work to make and with the technology used by every team, the scouting report on Taylor is out — throw him middle-middle and up. His sweet spot is down in the zone.

The Dodgers know Taylor is struggling. That much is obvious. But they are still willing to give him time to correct his flaws. How much time remains unknown.

Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.


  1. One of the worst contracts in Dodger history. KT3 is a mess. He needs to concentrate on making contact and not hitting home runs.

  2. For as great as this F.O. has been, an unwillingness to move on and open roster spots is frustrating for fans. I’d argue K3 is worse to watch for fans than Miguel Vargas or Michael Busch (huge mistake taking Muncy / Taylor over Busch) would’ve been in the same spot. See Pages!

    1. SAM Taylor ,Swing And Miss ( SAM) is just about an automatic out ,nice guy ,but it’s time to swallow the contract and move on from him ,take BARNES with him ,rally killers, how can they knock ROJAS at least he makes contact.Anyways enough said!

  3. Can’t hit centercut middle middle fastballs is not a major leaguer, even your average triple A player crushes centercut heaters. His swing path through the zone is nowhere close to the ball. Go back to the basics, keep it simple, what’s wrong with hitting line drives and hard ground balls? It gets you hits and some respectability. Forget about the dingers. You got your money. Now is time to change your thinking back to the basics because you’re find yourself out of job sooner or later.

  4. He seems to have the same swing no matter where the pitch is. And, his bat doesn’t stay in the zone very long with his uppercut approach. We need the CT of a few years back.

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