Dodgers: Chris Taylor should not have a set position in 2018

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Chris Taylor (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Chris Taylor (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Chris Taylor is an infielder converted to center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although Taylor played almost exclusively center at the end of the year, that should not continue in 2018.

Chris Taylor was easily the biggest surprise for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 and arguably the MLB. Taylor was acquired in June of 2016 for former top pitching prospect Zach Lee. Although Taylor did not make the Opening Day roster, he was one of the best and most versatile players on the Dodgers.

Taylor hit .288 with 21 home runs, 72 RBIs and 34 doubles in 140 games played. He led the Dodgers in stolen bases with 15 and played five different positions. The original shortstop played short, third, second, left field and center field. Despite being an infielder, Taylor played more games in the outfield than the infield last season.

Towards the end of the year that almost exclusively was in center field. When Corey Seager went down with arm problems he played short, but his 49 games played in center was the most among any position. Since he thrived so much in center, practical wisdom says he should be the Dodgers everyday center fielder.

Except he shouldn’t.

The Dodgers would be foolish to not utilize Taylor’s immense versatility throughout the season. If every other position was locked in it would make sense. However, with multiple platoons in several positions, Taylor’s flexibility is key next season.

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The biggest reason for concern is Logan Forsythe‘s inability to hit right-handed pitching. Forsythe hit nearly .300 against southpaws and under .200 against right-handers. With Chase Utley a free agent and Willie Calhoun on the Rangers, the Dodgers are thin at second.

That is where Taylor comes in. The leadoff hitter can play second base against right-handed pitching, giving Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson or Matt Kemp the option to start in center and left. Against southpaws, Taylor can move back to center, Forsythe can start at second and Kemp or Enrique Hernandez can play left field.

Then there are the typical off days. Taylor can cover Turner or Seager at third or short if one of the two needs rest. Taylor covers so many grounds for the Dodgers it is incredible.

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With this system, Taylor will likely play more games at second base than any other position. That is perfectly fine, though, because the infield is his natural position anyway.