Chris Taylor has started games at six different positions this season for the Dodgers, the jack of all trades who finds a way to play regularly wherever the team asks him. This year, Taylor’s most common defensive spots have been in center field, filling in for an injured Cody Bellinger, and at second base, when Gavin Lux shifted over to shortstop once Corey Seager broke a bone in his hand.
“He’s been the glue to our team, he allows us to do so much with his versatility,” fellow All-Star Max Muncy said of Taylor on SportsNet LA last Monday. “Without him we definitely wouldn’t be where we’ve been the last couple of years.”
Taylor was one of eight National League players selected for an All-Star berth by the commissioner’s office, and one of 34 first-time All-Stars on both teams combined in the initial roster selections (a number that has since grown to 40 first-timers).
This is the first All-Star selection for the 30-year-old Taylor, who since the start of 2017 ranks 12th among National Leaguers in Baseball Reference WAR (15.0) and ranks 17th in FanGraphs WAR (13.6).
I enjoyed that the normally reserved Taylor, when asked in the week leading up to roster selections if he could have ever expected five years ago — when the Dodgers traded for him — that he would one day be an All-Star, he simply replied, “Yeah.”
“It’s always been a goal of mine, maybe not at the forefront,” Taylor added. “I think everybody hopes one day to make an All-Star team. I have very high expectations for myself.”
Taylor is hitting .277/.382/.452, tied for third in the National League with 63 runs scored. He’s 13th in the league in wRC+ (134) and tied for 13th in fWAR (2.6).
Perhaps something for Taylor to shoot for: Only four Dodgers have played multiple defensive positions in an All-Star Game. The one among that group that didn’t start was Pedro Guerrero 38 years ago at Comiskey Park:
- Duke Snider (1954): started in center, played final six innings in right
- Jim Wynn (1974): started & played three innings in center, then two innings in right
- Pedro Guerrero (1983): played sixth inning at third, then final three innings in left
- Andre Ethier (2010): started & played four innings in center (his first game in CF), then two innings in right