PHOENIX, Ariz- Chris Taylor is having a breakout season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He shared these thoughts on the success that he’s having in 2017, “The big part of it has been my confidence. I put in some work in the offseason and that’s helped me out a lot mechanically on my swing. I think that’s helped me get the barrel to the ball more consistently. Then just playing every day. Definitely helps being out there every day and just competing with this guys has been fun.”

Taylor has achieved a lot of career highs this season by playing every day. “A lot of it has to do with the opportunity. I have had more at-bats this year than I have in my career. That’s a big part of it. Some of the adjustments I made in the offseason with my swing, that’s helped my power numbers. My bat speed has gone up a tick as well. Barreling the ball more constantly.”

There were other things that Taylor worked on during the offseason as well, “Always trying to improve and get better. I felt that there was more room in my swing to increase those power numbers, free things up a little bit, and a little rhythm. I was a little stiff with my hands. A little robotic almost. Just freed things up, added a leg kick and that helped me be more consistent at the plate.”

Taylor has played all over the diamond this year. Primarily in left field, he recently made the switch to center field when the team acquired Curtis Granderson. “I think center field is easier. The reads are easier. They are truer. You might have to cover a little more ground in center, but so far the transition has been pretty easy.”

Recently Taylor moved back to the infield to play shortstop giving Corey Seager a day off. “Definitely a little different those first couple innings. I try to take ground balls there every day. Keep my reps in the infield knowing I could move back in there at any giving time. That is my natural position, so it didn’t take long to get back in the groove there.”

On playing for a players manager in Dave Roberts, “I think I speak for all our guys, we love playing for Dave. We know he has our back, and he’s a great guy to play for. High energy. It’s a joy to be on the field with him. I look forward to playing for him for as long as I can.”

The Dodgers are having an epic season, and being part of this team and contributing the way Taylor has, “It’s just been a lot of fun. Enjoy coming to the field every day and competing with these guys. We have a really good group and clubhouse here. I look forward to playing with these guys for the rest of the year and into the postseason.”

When you win and are doing well, teammates can have fun with each other. In this case, teammate Justin Turner did just that with Taylor in a phrase, “CT3 hits, and barrels are overrated.” Taylor explained the purpose behind both. “It’s a saying that I said and JT made shirts with this on them. I said this in Chicago a while back when I had 3 or 4 hits in which I didn’t barrel a single ball. It kind of stuck and guys thought it was funny. Now that he made those shirts, everyone is wearing these around the clubhouse.”

Los Angeles is only getting stronger as they prepare for their ace in Clayton Kershaw returning from the disabled list with a back injury. “His numbers speak for themselves. Everybody knows what he brings on the field. His presence in the clubhouse is huge. He’s a leader for this team. We’re excited to have him back.”

Entering play today, Taylor is batting .304 with 17 home runs and 62 RBI ‘s from the leadoff spot. His 15 stolen bases are paving the way as well and providing to be a valuable catalyst.

Roberts on Taylor “With Chris you can go on and on. Obviously in the batter’s box. On the bases. Playing different positions and giving us the flexibility to play anywhere on the diamond. Just watching him grow and come through in big spots. When this guy wants to play, he has baseball aptitude. He’s cut from the same cloth as a Chase Utley and a Justin Turner. To see him grow as a player has been a lot of fun. He has really impacted us.”

About The Author

Brian is an eight-year veteran as a professional baseball umpire. Now retired from behind the plate, BK is a radio personality of Sports Hour with Brian Kreps heard on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 , writer and sports photographer. Brian has spent the past year-and-a- half providing in-depth coverage of the Arizona Rattlers. Despite an array of interests, Brian’s passion for baseball has not changed.