There was nothing particularly special about Chris Taylor’s 2020 season, but he was still one of their most productive players. He didn’t stand out in any way, which is difficult on a team with so many stars, but his contributions led to the third-highest bWAR on the team.
These results didn’t come out of the blue, as Taylor has quietly been one of the most consistent performers on this team since 2017. The difference, however, is that his success came about in a different way. In a video chat with reporters last week, Chris revealed that last season’s success was in part due to a change in his approach at the plate.
When the ball slows down, your plate dicipline gets better. I think I made some mechanical adjustments that slowed the ball down a little bit, gave me more time to see the fastball. When you’re not late on fastballs, and having to cheat to catch up to the velocity, I think you’re going to chase less off-speed pitches out of the zone. I think it was a combination of making those mechanical changes that put me in good positions to slow the ball down a little bit and allowing me to be on time.
To give a little perspective, Chris Taylor ranked in the top 5 of almost every offensive statistic for Los Angeles in 2020. And even though a 60-game season may not be the greatest evidence to go off of, Taylor’s improved vision at the plate makes it more likely that he can transfer his success over to the new season.
The Dodgers will be counting on Taylor to fill a bigger need this season after the departure of Kike Hernández over the winter. Assuming that he continues his patient approach at the plate, this could be a career year for the 7-year veteran en route to what will hopefully be another deep October run.