2021 has been a season of change for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only did the team lose key long-time contributors with the departures of Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez, but a rash of injuries has left the club reliant on underperforming rookies and imported veterans to fill time around the diamond.
But one utility stalwart is still around and, quite possibly, better than ever.
The always stoic Chris Taylor has been an underrated star for the Dodgers this season. While he’s absolutely not getting the love he deserves around the league, manager Dave Roberts shared his praise of the 30-year-old.
He plays every at-bat like it’s his last. The production, what he’s doing, is no surprise to me. He’s a ‘glue’ guy. He makes my job a lot easier and gives a lot of other guys, his teammates, runways and other opportunities because of his versatility and unselfishness.
In a team filled with mostly unselfish players, CT3 stands out in his own category. Despite battling through some nagging injuries at various points this year, Taylor has still balled out while posting a .288 average with a .922 OPS, 5 home runs, and 18 runs batted in over 38 games. However, most importantly, while he’s still started all around the field, he’s filled the void left in center field by the injured Cody Bellinger.
“When he’s in there,” Roberts added, “you just always expect something good to happen. And [for him to] impact the game, whether it’s on the defensive side or in the batter’s box.”
A perfect example of that last point came on Wednesday night when Taylor 0-3 but added a pair of key plays on defense in a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks.
He may be a quiet boy. He may be under the radar around baseball. But he also might be the most important piece on the Dodgers in 2021.
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