Of all the remarkable stories surrounding the 2017 Dodgers, none might be more amazing than that of Chris Taylor, who looks to continue his second-half surge on Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks.
Actually, focusing on the post-break numbers sells Taylor short. He has been a force pretty much all year, since he was recalled from Triple-A in mid-April.
Taylor ranks ninth in the National League in the FanGraphs version of Wins Above Replacement (4.0), and ranks 11th in Baseball-Reference WAR (3.9). He is ninth in wRC+ (145), surrounded by three teammates -- Justin Turner 163 (3rd), Corey Seager 147 (8th) and Cody Bellinger 142 (11th) — in the top 11.
Not bad at all for someone who began the season in Oklahoma City. As an infielder. That Taylor has acquitted himself well both in left field and center field despite never playing the positions before this year is incredible.
But it is Taylor’s bat that has spoken most loudly, especially so since the All-Star break. Here are some recent numbers:
- Taylor has 11 multi-hit games since the break, hitting .391/.418/.747 with 17 extra-base hits in 21 games.
- He has reached base in his last 14 road games, dating back to June 30, hitting .424 (25-for-59) with five home runs, three triples, and three doubles.
- Against the NL West, Taylor is hitting .343/.440/.515 this season.
- Taylor is 10-for-17 (.588) against the D-backs in 2017 with three doubles and a home run, including 3-for-5 with a home run at Chase Field.
The Dodgers have Yasmani Grandal starting behind the plate in Tuesday’s opener, after the catcher had a few days off with back spasms. Grandal bats fifth.
He left Saturday’s game in New York in the eighth inning, and sat out Sunday, then utilized Monday’s travel day. In games following at least two days rest this season, Grandal is 8-for-27 (.296) with two doubles, a home run, and two walks.
Against the Diamondbacks in 2017, Grandal is 10-for-25 (.400) with three doubles, a home run, and four walks.