The start of the 2021 MLB season is only one week away. It’s so close you can taste it.
The Los Angeles Dodgers only have three more Cactus League contests including Thursday night’s game before they head home for the Freeway Series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They will then fly to Colorado to start the year off against the Rockies.
We don’t know the exact starting pitching order at the moment, other than Clayton Kershaw to start Opening Day. It would appear that Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler are lined up behind him in that order, but we will have to wait to see on that.
The reigning NLCS and World Series MVP may very well go on to win the MVP for his league, but he might not even be the MVP of his own team.
It’s well documented that the Dodgers are full of MVP caliber players. Three are former MVPs, Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Seager, as we said, is a two time Postseason MVP. But amid all this talent, one player stands out as being team MVP.
Chris Taylor, as we all know, did not become a household name until he joined the Dodgers. He made the major league roster for the Seattle Mariners a few times, but got classified more as Quad-A player. Once the Dodgers sent Zach Lee to Seattle for Taylor, he started working on his swing and began to become more of a presence at the plate.
Taylor really started to get things going in 2017, and was great in the postseason, winning co-MVP of the NLCS with Justin Turner. 2018 was a down year for him at the plate, where he struck out 178 times while playing in 155 games. 2019 saw his strikeouts go down, and 2020 saw his best slash line since 2017.
While he might not set the world on fire all the time at the plate, his ability to come off the bench and be slotted into any spot in the lineup is unparalleled. But where he really shines is his ability to play all over the field.
Taylor is able to play all three outfield positions, second base, third and shortstop. Although the Dodgers are already mega-talented at every position, players need days off. Having someone to be able to fill in for almost any position, and do it almost, if not as well as, who they’re replacing, is priceless. This keeps the team and the players fresh, for the goal every year is to go as deep into October as possible.
CT3 has had a hot Spring Training. He is slashing .419/.486/.968/1.453 with four homers and five doubles. Manager Dave Roberts has mentioned that Taylor will be playing pretty much every day and doing that while not having a specific position is quite impressive.
Taylor is also doing great things off the field. On Friday evening, CT will be hosting a fundraising event for pediatric cancer. Taylor lost a childhood friend to the horrible disease, and his parents’ neighbor is a child also battling cancer. The event will be virtual and feature music from Brad Paisley and Jake Owens among others, and will be co-hosted by Joe Davis. Many incredible items will also be available during the concert in a silent auction.
Tickets are available at HomeRunForHope.com.