Chris Taylor (baseball)
Christopher Armand Taylor Jr. (born August 29, 1990) is an American professional baseball utility player for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball for the Virginia Cavaliers. Taylor was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB draft, and made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2014.
Taylor with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017
|Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 3|
|Born: August 29, 1990|
Virginia Beach, Virginia
|July 24, 2014, for the Seattle Mariners|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2019 season)
|Runs batted in||204|
|Career highlights and awards|
Taylor attended Great Neck Middle School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he was on the wrestling team, and won a city wrestling championship. When he attended Frank W. Cox High School, also in Virginia Beach, he stopped wrestling to focus on baseball. He was named the All-Tidewater region player of the year in 2009.
Taylor was recruited to play college baseball by the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary. He chose to attend Virginia, and played college baseball for the Virginia Cavaliers baseball team, competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). In his freshman year, Taylor played sparingly as Tyler Cannon, an All-ACC shortstop, received most of the playing time. In the summer of 2010, he played for the Newport Gulls of the NECBL. In his sophomore year, Stephen Bruno was named the Cavaliers' starting shortstop at the beginning of the season, and Taylor began the year as the teams' right fielder. Taylor became the starting shortstop when Bruno suffered a hamstring injury, and retained the job after Bruno recovered. In 2011, he hit a two-out, men on second and third single to score the tying and winning runs in the decisive game of the Charlottesville Super Regional against UC Irvine and send the Cavaliers to the College World Series. In 2011, he played collegiate summer baseball in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
The Seattle Mariners selected Taylor in the fifth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. He began his professional career in Minor League Baseball at the Rookie level, but was soon promoted to Class A, primarily playing shortstop. In 2013, Taylor played for the High Desert Mavericks of the Class A-Advanced California League and Jackson Generals of the Class AA Southern League, finishing the season with a combined .314 batting average, 165 hits (eight-best in Minor League Baseball), eight home runs, 60 runs batted in (RBIs), 108 runs scored, and 38 stolen bases while playing shortstop and second base. After the season, the Mariners assigned Taylor to the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League, and named him their minor league player of the year. He hit .294 with Peoria, and had a .351 on-base percentage, while playing second base and shortstop.
The Mariners invited Taylor to spring training in 2014. Following spring training, he was assigned to the Tacoma Rainers of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL). He appeared in the Triple-A All-Star Game, and was named the PCL's Top Star. After batting .328 with five home runs, 37 RBIs, and 63 runs scored in 75 games while playing shortstop and second base, the Mariners promoted Taylor to the major leagues on July 24 to replace the injured Willie Bloomquist who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, where he played shortstop, second base, and third base. He collected his first major-league hit, a single, on the same day against the Baltimore Orioles.
During spring training in 2015, Taylor fractured his wrist when he was hit by a pitch. After he recovered from his injury, he began the 2015 season with AAA Tacoma, playing shortstop and second base. He would have a stint with the Mariners later in the year, but was sent back to Tacoma after RHP Mayckol Guaipe was called up. On May 21, 2016 Chris was recalled from AAA Tacoma to replace the injured Ketel Marte. For the 2015 major league season, he batted .170/.220/.223 with no home runs and one RBI in 94 at bats, while playing shortstop, second base, and third base.
Los Angeles DodgersEdit
On June 19, 2016, the Mariners traded Taylor to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Zach Lee. The Dodgers optioned him to the Oklahoma City Dodgers of the PCL. He was called up to the majors on June 25, 2016.
On July 15, 2016, Taylor hit his first major league career home run, a grand slam, off Silvino Bracho of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also had a double, a triple, drove in six runs, and fell just short of hitting for the cycle. He was the third Dodgers player in history to have his first career homer be a grand slam (Preston Ward in 1948 and Chico Fernández in 1956) and the third Dodgers second baseman to have at least six RBIs in a game (Billy Herman in 1943 and Jackie Robinson in 1949). He played in 34 games for the Dodgers in 2016, hitting .207/.258/362 with one home run and 7 RBIs, primarily playing shortstop.
Taylor did not make the club out of spring training in 2017, and was assigned to Oklahoma City to begin the season, for whom he batted .233/.327/.442 with one home run and 5 RBIs in 43 at bats. He was recalled to the Dodgers on April 19. On July 6, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Taylor hit his first career walk-off hit, driving in Logan Forsythe to win the game 5-4. For the 2017 season, he batted .288/.354/.496 with 21 home runs and 72 RBIs and 142 strikeouts in 514 at bats, splitting time between center field, left field, second base, shortstop, and third base.
On October 14, 2017, Taylor hit his first career postseason home run, off Héctor Rondón of the Chicago Cubs, in Game 1 of the 2017 National League Championship Series (NLCS). Taylor and Justin Turner were selected as the co-MVPs of the NLCS. On October 24, Taylor hit a home run on the first pitch by Astros' pitcher Dallas Keuchel to begin Game 1 of the 2017 World Series. Overall, in the 2017 post-season, Taylor hit .254 with three home runs and seven RBI in 15 games as the Dodgers lost the World Series in seven games.
In his third season with the Dodgers, Taylor posted a .254/.331/.444 slashline with 17 home runs, 63 RBIs and 9 stolen bases in 604 plate appearances, and led the National League with 178 strikeouts. He reached career highs in games played (155), runs scored (85), doubles (35), triples (8), and walks (55). With teammate Corey Seager missing most of the season due to a right UCL strain, requiring Tommy John Surgery, Taylor spent the majority of the season at shortstop (81 games, 73 starts). He also played center field (50 games, 32 starts), left field (24 games, 18 starts), second base (12 games, 5 starts), and third base (8 games, 3 starts). On September 10, 2018, Taylor was selected to represent MLB in the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series. In the post-season, Taylor had only one hit in four at-bats in the 2018 NLDS, but his hit was a homer. In the 2018 NLCS, he had eight hits in 22 at-bats and in the 2018 World Series, he had two hits in 18 at-bats.
In 2019, Taylor returned to his utility role, playing in 124 games (which included 39 at shortstop during another period that Seager was on the injured list). He hit .262 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs, and 115 strikeouts in 366 at bats.
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- "I.L. Scores 7-3 Win in Triple-A All-Star Game - Durham Bulls News". Durham Bulls. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
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- Chris Taylor Minor & Fall Leagues Statistics & History | Baseball-Reference.com
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- Oklahoma City Dodgers (April 5, 2017). "OKC Dodgers Release 2017 Opening Day Roster". milb.com. Retrieved April 5, 2017.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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- Cassavell, AJ (October 19, 2017). "Turner, Taylor share NLCS MVP honors". mlb.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- Hoffman, Benjamin; Waldstein, David; Kepner, Tyler (October 24, 2017). "How the Dodgers won World Series Game 1 Inning by Inning". New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- "Chris Taylor Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "Chris Taylor Stats, Fantasy & News". MLB.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "Chris Taylor Stats, Fantasy & News". MLB.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "Eight Players Selected for Japan All-Star Series". The Official Site of Major League Baseball Players Association. September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Castillo, Jorge (June 28, 2019). "Chris Taylor is proving to be a worthy replacement for the injured Corey Seager". LA Times. Retrieved October 2, 2019.