The Los Angeles Dodgers leadoff man and centerfielder Chris Taylor is fresh off a co-NLCS most valuable player award sharing the honors with teammate Justin Turner. Taylor slashed .316/.458/.789 during the five-game series against the Chicago Cubs adding 2 home runs.
During the regular season, Taylor served as the Dodgers super utility man from the lead-off spot slashing .288/.354/.496 with 21 homers, 34 doubles, 17 stolen bases and drove in 72 runs. Taylor ranked third amongst Dodgers position players in WAR at 4.8 and his ability to grind out at bats from the top of the order really sets the table for the heart of the Dodgers order with the big bats in Turner and Cody Bellinger following the pesky lead-off hitter.
Not only will Taylor’s great at bats really introduce him to the national audience outside of Dodgers fans and seam-heads like myself, but his raw power and ability to leave the yard at anytime will have spectators across the country glued to their living room television sets when he steps up to the dish. Just imagine the upper-cut swing taking Dallas Keuchel or Justin Verlander deep to begin the game and Dave Roberts can comfortably hand the ball off to one of his aces with the lead already in hand.
It’s that quick-strike ability that sets Taylor apart from the crowd. It’s what makes him so special. A player once traded away for nothing by Seattle is now a star in Los Angeles in a loaded lineup. The Dodgers return to their first World Series since 1988 and they finally have a leadoff hitter they can turn to at the outset of the series. Taylor could be the difference-maker in this series loaded with star power that will feature the two best teams in baseball all season going at it for the right to be called world champion.
For the record I’m picking the Houston Astros to win this series. I have a hard time picking against a team with three legitimate five-tool players in Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer as well as a bonafide ace and big-game pitcher Justin Verlander. Pair Verlander with a former Cy Young Award winner in Dallas Keuchel and Game 7 hero Charlie Morton and the Astros rotation can stack up with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish and Rich Hill. This is going to be one hell of a series for baseball fans and sports fans in general with two behemoths going head-to-head to be crowned champion.
Chris Taylor can be a household name after this epic World Series matchup. Los Angeles vs. Houston and it all begins tonight at 8 pm ET on Fox. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank