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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CHRIS TAYLOR 2B LOS ANGELES DODGERS

The Los Angeles Dodgers are setting Major League Baseball on fire in 2017, with their ridiculous $200 million-plus payroll and win-at-all-costs strategy when it comes to trades (looking at your Mr. Yu Darvish).  However the Dodgers are not all high-priced millionaires manning every position on the diamond and being solely responsible for their 79-32 record going into Tuesday's action.  They also have gotten surprisingly potent contributions from other sources; most notably from second baseman Chris Taylor who has been one of the very best value plays in all of fantasy baseball in 2017.  A former 2012 fifth-round pick, Taylor failed to breakthrough with the Seattle Mariners before coming over to the Dodgers midway through 2016.  Even in his 36 games with the Mariners and Dodgers last season, Taylor hit a woeful .213 with 1 home runs and 0 steals.  In other words, a Quad-A player Taylor seemed to be.  Taylor stuck with the process though and came into spring training trying to win a bench job to begin the season.  While Taylor failed to make the team once spring training was through, he received a promotion in late April when injuries began to take a toll on the Dodgers infield and this after he hit just .233 in his 10 games at Triple-A.  Needless to say, this is where the storybook year for Taylor began as the wheels were put in motion for him to post what has been an amazing season to say the least.

A .296 late April performance with 2 home runs was followed by a scorching .322 mark with four more longball in May that signaled to the Dodgers they may have something on their hands with Taylor.  It was also there when the Dodgers made the decision to hand him the starting second baseman job.  Yes Taylor dipped to a .222 June which brought some questions about whether he was a short-term fix but he went nuts again in July with an insane .394 July with 3 home runs.  In terms of August through one week?  Try .320 with 3 home runs already to bring Taylor to the following season numbers:

.312
15 HR
62 R
54 RBI
13 SB

Looking at the cumulative totals, Taylor's 15/13 totals in home runs and steals is a tremendous number for a middle infielder and the .312 average is quite sweet as well.  Pretty much Taylor is doing everything he can to be a big-time impact player and a prize in fantasy baseball as well.  Now a few things do need to be noted here and the first is that Taylor's .408 BABIP is insanely lucky and due for regression. Simply put, Taylor is not a .312 hitter and when the luck regresses, he will shoot downward.  In addition, Taylor's 27.2 K/9 rate is very ugly and again will help drag the average down.  However at the age of 26, Taylor's power and running ability are at prime form and so he is not a fluke there.  While there are givebacks in the average on the way, Taylor should remain a viable starting second baseman in daily fantasy baseball leagues.

All in all, Chris Taylor is doing his part to help the Dodgers get to where they are today.  We love the power/speed middle infield here and so Taylor could very well be here to stay as a prime fantasy baseball impact player.


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