There is no shortage of star power on the Los Angeles Dodgers. From Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger to Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, this team is absolutely loaded. Yet it may be Chris Taylor, and not one of their stars, that may prove to be the most important player for LA next season.
Taylor has been a jack of all trades during his time with the Dodgers, a true utility man. He has played every position aside from first base and catcher, and he’s been above average at all of them. If not for the incredible depth that this team has, he could start every single day at any one of these positions.
Obviously Taylor won’t be the biggest producer on offense. He won’t lead the team in home runs or RBI. No one is expecting him to carry the team in any way, so what exactly do we mean by most valuable? In what might be a full 162-game season with COVID protocols, Chris Taylor could prove to be a pivotal piece of the Dodgers roster.
The Dodgers were fortunate enough to avoid any serious time lost from players testing positive in 2020, but they did have a few players report late to Spring Training due to having the virus. To top it off, their starting third baseman had to exit the final game of the World Series due to a positive test that came back mid-game.
All of this is to say that teams might need to rely on their depth this coming season, and no team has more depth than the reigning champs. Even with the looming departures of Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson among others, the Dodgers are still well-positioned for the long road ahead.
Chris Taylor has the versatility to play every position on the diamond of need be, and he’ll have his fair share of opportunities to prove it. The hope, obviously, is that everyone makes it through the season with good health, but it would be foolish to think that the possibility of some positive tests doesn’t exist.
Should the Dodgers need a temporary replacement at any given position next season, Taylor is the first man up. Don’t think that he’ll be relegated to just a bench role, either. CT3 is more than capable of being a staple in the starting lineup on a regular basis, especially if the team doesn’t make a move to bring in another right-handed bat. His 50 hits in a shortened 2020 were good for 5th best on the team and ahead of players like Justin Turner, Will Smith, and Max Muncy.
Yes, Mookie Betts will most likely lead the Dodgers on their quest to repeat in 2021, but don’t underestimate the importance of Chris Taylor in what could be yet another pandemic season.