Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
When the Los Angeles Dodgers traded their 2010 first round draft pick Zach Lee to the Seattle Mariners for a utility man Chris Taylor, most Dodger fans thought it was a minor trade. Little did we know, Taylor would live in Dodger folklore forever. For the first time in his career, Taylor is a free agent, but the Dodgers must realize they cannot replace Taylor’s skills easily. Along with Corey Seager, Taylor is a must re-sign for the Dodgers if they want to remain their dominance.
Taylor gave the Dodgers four home runs during the 2021 playoff run, including three homers in Game 5 of the NLCS. His dramatic two-run homer to end the National League Wild Card game against the Saint Louis Cardinals. Along with Cody Bellinger, Taylor made the 2021 playoffs memorable for Dodger fans. This was not the time during his career that he has contributed greatly to the playoffs. He was the co-MVP of the 2017 NLCS when the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs to go to their first World Series since 1988.
Playing everywhere, except first base, catcher, and pitcher, Taylor is an asset to the defense. He gives his all on every play. With a strong accurate throwing arm and soft hands, he usually makes every routine play but sometimes makes a spectacular play. His willingness to play anywhere is rare. Taylor does not want personal glory but desires to help his team win.
In 2021 for the first time in his career, Taylor was named to the National League All-Star team. Before the All-Star break, Taylor helped the Dodgers to stay afloat when Bellinger and Seager were injured. He performed better with runners on base than without. After the All-Star break, he struggled offensively while he battled a neck injury. His swing can become long, making him prone to the strikeout. Taylor had twenty home runs and 73 RBI.
Not many Major Leaguers want to accept a utility role, but Taylor seems not to mind. While the Dodgers have tried to make both Zach McKinstry and Gavin Lux utility players, they have failed. Particularly with the style of baseball that Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts like to play, the Dodgers must keep Taylor.