Does Chris Taylor Move to 2B in 2019?

Many Dodger fans think that Chris Taylor will move to 2B in 2019 after Logan Forsythe moves on.  While that is not a crazy idea, we need to realize that Chris Taylor is a pretty good CF – He is a conscientious Top 10 CF… maybe Top 5 by the end of 2018 (that is to be decided). While I am not against moving Taylor to 2B, who plays Center Field?  Also, Chris Taylor has not looked great at 2B, but I do believe he can adapt and play the position well, so I am not against it.

OK, I’ll play along.  In 2019, Forsythe is gone (Grandal, Pederson and maybe Puig too) and Taylor moves to 2B.  Then, Andrew Toles would be the center fielder. To me, that sounds like he should go to OKC RIGHT NOW and play CF everyday so that he can be a solid replacement. That softens the blow of going to OKC THIS year.

As you know, I think Matt Kemp will be the LF’er in 2018 and maybe he has a great year.  If he does, I am not sure he can do it again in 2019.  Also, Alex Verdugo, DJ Peters and Yusniel Diaz will be chomping at the bit.  A lot of what happen there depends upon Kemp and Puig. Kemp would still be under contract for the 2019 season and Puig can be controlled through 2020.  There is simply no room for Joc Pederson in 2018 and especially in 2019 unless he suddenly turns it around and that is more unlikely than Matt Kemp winning the MVP.  On the game feed yesterday, they discussed Joc’s numerous batting stances last year – seven to be exact.  He’s a mess and needs to go somewhere with no pressure for a fresh start.

Trayce Thompson has looked very good this Spring – hopefully he keeps it up and the Dodgers can move him for another younger prospect.  There is simply no place for him. I think that will happen. But, in 2019 the outfield becomes even more crowded.  A lot can happen between now and then. Yasiel Puig could be traded and so could Kemp.  Could Ruiz or Smith switch positions to 2B?

The Dodgers have a lot of problems… Good Problems!  Where do they play everybody?  Stay tuned. This should be fun to watch.

Stock Rising

  • Keibert Ruiz
  • Will Smith
  • DJ Peters
  • JT Chargois
  • Jake Peter
  • Wilmer Font
  • Kyle Farmer
  • Matt Beaty
  • Edwin Rios
  • Andrew Toles
  • Max Muncy

Stock Dropping

  • Joc Pederson
  • Mark Lowe
  • CC Lee
  • Henry Owens
  • Dylan Baker

The Dodgers are hitting .296 as a team with a .365 OB% and a .895 OPS.  That would be great to do that all year (not likely).  The teams’ ERA is 5.53 – that would not be good!  Hey, it’s Spring Training… and we haven’t even seen the Dodgers Top 2 pitching prospects:  Walker Buehler and Mitchell White!

The picture of Chris Taylor is from last year when The Truth Hurts dubbed him Christ Aylor.

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 45 Comments

  1. Mark, My opinion is Matt Kemp is not an experiment, he was in a trade with Atlanta for only one purpose, to reduce payroll. The Dodgers had every intention of then trading him and reducing payroll even further but found no takers. The Dodgers have Kemp and only three choices, play him, sit him, or release him. The smart choice is to play him and see if he can somehow be somewhat productive, not an MVP or hit 40 home runs but be effective enough for the Dodgers to justify the 21M for this year.If that happens then good. I’m sure if this was the last season of his contract he and the 22M still owed would be gone leaving Toles and Verdugo to fight for left field.
    Will Kemp be an MVP this year? I don’t think so
    Will Kemp hit 40 home runs this year? I don’t think so
    Will Kemp play better defense being 40 pounds lighter? I don’t think so, he is going to count on Taylor to cover more ground in left-center while Kemp covers the line. Let’s hope this coverage doesn’t cause an injury to Taylor.
    Will Kemp be of value to the team this year? I think he will probably get off to a good start and then struggle. The real question is if that happens will the Dodgers stay with him or release him? Whatever happens, Kemp is not an experiment he is a trade that the Dodgers hoped would happen that didn’t.

    1. I happen to believe the opposite. I did not believe FAZ would be able to trade him. Atlanta couldn’t. They decided on a worst case scenario they would be better off with Kemp than Gonzo, MAC and Kaz. I think they knew there were no takers when they made the deal. Most bloggers and writers thought otherwise. I make no predictions about Kemp but I think he is exactly what FAZ thought.

      1. Proclaiming that Kemp could possibly have an MVP year is a bit of a prediction, wouldn’t you say?

    2. 1439, I tend to agree. The lost 40 lbs hopefully allow his body to hold up and spend less time on the DL. It won’t make him fast again. When Kemp was a good defender it was because his speed made up for bad routes. I think at a minimum he can platoon and then be replaced with a better defender in the late innings. I do think he’s capable of providing a bit more than that though. To ask him to start 5 or 6 days a week is probably going to lead to injury or your predicted fade.

  2. Besides being conscientious, CT in my mind will be/is a consensus top 10 CF!!!
    In my mind, a strange place at that, I still think the elephant in the room is Mr. Seager… With his neck and back issues I have thought from day 1 he was not long for the SS position… I know, I know, Cal Ripken was tall and etc. etc.
    I want a healthy Seager for many years roaming Chavez Ravine…

  3. I like CT3 in CF. He is just learning, and has a chance to be good to very good out there. He just needs experience. Hopefully he can continue to play offense while playing CF. Yes, Alex Verdugo, Yusniel Diaz, and DJ Peters can all play CF (and Starling Heredia), but they are not true CF’s. The next true CF in the Dodgers organization is Jeren Kendall. His defense and speed are ML ready, but his offense is not D-1 College ready (okay a little hyperbole). Kendall needs to make contact and he can play CF for a long time at the ML level.
    .
    So who does play 2B in 2019? Those on the current 40 man would include only Tim Locastro. While not currently on the 40 man, Jake Peter could be if needed. There is no necessity as long as Chase is still on the roster. However, IMO, both Peter and Locastro are more utility type players, and not everyday. If Errol Robinson gets promoted to AAA this year and does reasonably well, he could be in the discussion. I am a big supporter of Errol Robinson so I hope he succeeds. But the next closest would be Omar Estevez followed by Gavin Lux and then Ronny Brito. Further down the line could be Jacob Amaya. But there is no sure fire “can’t miss” middle infielder in the system. That is why I believe the Dodgers will look outside for the 2019 2B, and I would not be a supporter of Brian Dozier as long as DJ LeMahieu is available. As long as they are relatively reasonable, I can see one of those two as a Dodger 2B in 2019. I am a card carrying DJ LeMahieu fan. He has a career .356 OBP (and for MJ, a career BA of .302) and is an above average defensive 2B. Like most Rockies, he does get a boost from Coors Field, but for the last three years, he has also been fairly consistent away. Bottom line…D J LeMahieu is my choice to be the Dodgers 2B in 2019.
    .
    I agree with your commentary on Joc. I have also stated that the best thing for Joc Pederson is to go somewhere we there is no pressure…Miami, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Oakland (his home area), ChiSox, Detroit??? I like him best in Baltimore who desperately needs a LH hitting OF, and someone to replace Adam Jones in CF in 2019. Counting 2018, he has three years control which Baltimore would also love. He is not as bad as he is showing, and he shows no ability to succeed when the pressure is on. Nothing was expected of him in the WS and he flourished. He was asked to compete for the LF position and he hasn’t (flourished or competed). I like Joc as a person, but not as a Dodger. I hope he does well, but it will never be as Dodger. Joc does have options so he can go back to AAA, but that will depress his value even more.
    .
    I also agree on Trayce Thompson. There is just no place for him on the Dodger 25 man. As well as he is playing this Spring, he is not out-playing Kemp, Toles, or Verdugo. FAZ will try to get whatever they can for Trayce.
    .
    The Matt Beaty 2B experiment has not gone well this Spring. He is another hitter that needs a defensive position. Like Rios, his best seems to be 1B. I hope he gets a chance to play some OF in OKC to see if he can play a ML LF.
    .
    The more I watch DJ Peters the more I am reminded of Jayson Werth. The HR he hit Friday was just launched. And he is actually a good defensive OF who can play CF if needed, also like Jayson Werth. This is going to be a critical year in DJ’s development. AA is a difference maker in prospect status. He needs to cut down on his K’s.
    .
    Mark Lowe (turns 35 in June) and C. C. Lee (31), were longshots at best. I see no reason for them to even take a spot on the OKC roster. Henry Owens is still young enough to try and straighten out. Plus, I am always partial to former BoSox players. The same is true with Dylan Baker who has never pitched above AA (12.2 IP in 2017). I would be willing to see what he can do at Tulsa before pulling the plug on him.

    1. i’m semi-excited about peter. he’s probably hard to peg as future starting 2b solution, but he’s reminding me some of a kiké-type down the road. he could replace utley next year if needed. a lh-hitting 2b/3b is exactly what this team needs given forsythe/turner at those spots.

    1. My opinion is that he stays there – unless/if his back and arm don’t alllow it. If his back and arm are that bad he might have to go to 1B… but not with the Dodgers.

    2. IMO, Seager is probably not a career ML SS. A lot will depend as to what transpires once JT is no longer the everyday 3B. Do the Dodgers move Seager to 3B then, or do the Dodgers look at Nolan Arenado and keep Seager as long as he can play SS? Who will play SS if Seager does move to 3B? Right now, the Dodgers do not have a middle infield prospect that projects as an everyday ML SS. Seager will be a free agent in 2022 with Scott Boras as his agent. Who knows what happens then as he enters his age 28 season. Boras will only consider to market him as a SS to maximize his value. Whether the Dodgers will agree with that assessment will be an interesting story line after the 2021 season.
      .
      I am hoping that he is not as hurt as many think. I think the skepticism is justified because the one thing the Dodgers are really not up front with is the true nature of a player’s health, and I have no problem with that. That should stay between the team and the player until it is determined that the player cannot make it.

  4. As far as ammunition goes, Joc is giving all of it to Mark and none to me. Rats. At least I like Taylor as a player and as a center fielder.

    1. Bum,

      I would gladly eat crow and I wish Joc would make me. It’s sad that he is what he is.

  5. Other than Duke Snider the players that I gravitate to haven’t been all that great. Ron Fairly, Jim Lefebre, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, James Loney, Joc Pederson, to name a few and prospect wise I will add Will Smith and Brock Stewart. Oh well.

    1. I’ve done better liking Laker players with Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Gail Goodrich, James Worthy doing really well and now its Ball, Randle, Ingram, Hart, Kuzma that I hope will do really well.

      1. Haha, I’m like you. My fave Lakers have been the non-star guys. AC, Coop, Vlade, Eddie Jones, Fish, now Hart

        1. I have never been big on the star players either, but I did like Magic.

          And Magic was definitely a star.

          I liked John Stockton too.

          And I liked Ron Cey a lot too, and he was better then some think, if you look at his numbers in a saber metric way, now.

  6. 1 – Thompson has no chance to stick with the Dodgers and will be flipped for a lower level prospect.
    2 – The Dodgers are looking for consistency from Joc Pederson. They haven’t seen it yet. He may be sent down after ST is done but I see him being unloaded at some point during the season.
    3 – Taylor isn’t a real CF – at least not yet. Pederson knows how to run good routes in CF and I haven’t seen any of the other Dodger OF who do this consistently. I haven’t seen Verdugo out there. Toles doesn’t run good routes.
    4 – Puig is still under team control in 2019 even though his contract is up (he is arb eligible). They would be crazy to dump him if he plays like he did last year and behaves himself. As good as Verdugo might be, he is not going to play defense as well as Puig nor will he hit 25 – 30 HR.
    5 – Seager graded out very well defensively last year. He moves well for a big guy and covers the ground. His arm problems won’t magically go away if he moves to 3B. It could help his back though. I haven’t heard anything about a neck problem. I think the Dodgers keep him at SS as long as possible. Question – if Seager goes to 3B, where does Turner go? With his knee problems and advancing age, he can no longer play 2B.
    6 – Taylor has not looked good at 2B in his career – he has a .941 FLD % (his worst position) and doesn’t look comfortable there.
    7 – If Seager doesn’t play SS, who does?
    8 – Kemp is not going to be MVP. If the Dodgers keep him they will try making him semi-regular at LF but he won’t play every day due to his bad wheels. He will take days off against some RHP and Joc or Toles will play instead. What do I expect if he stays? .290, 25 HR in 450 AB. We will see if his conditioning helps his defense. He used to run awful routes when he was healthy and was able to make corrections with his speed. Without his speed?

    1. agree with all except #3. taylor is a mlb-caliber cf and i didn’t give any thought to putting him out there in a big game. i also believe he’ll get better at the position.

    2. Taylor hasn’t had a lot of chances at 2B either. Those numbers would correct themselves eventually. He’s a natural shortstop and would handle it fine if given the opportunity on a full-time basis. Dee Gordon started off slowly at 2B and then became an excellent second baseman. I agree with most of your assessments though.

  7. On Chris Taylor

    “Behind an impressive campaign both in the field and at the plate, Taylor was ranked the No. 7 center fielder heading into this season, by ESPN’s Buster Olney. In front of Taylor on the list are Mike Trout, Charlie Blackmon, George Springer, Lorenzo Cain, Tommy Pham and Byron Buxton.

    Taylor, who is a natural shortstop, ranked ahead of natural center fielders such as Ender Inciarte, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew McCutchen.”

    Even if Taylor ran a bad route, he get’s to more balls than Pederson.

    If Matt Kemp hits .290 with 25 HR, that would be HUGE!

      1. That is the point, if Kemp does that, it is better then we have got out of leftfield, in quite a while.

        Because we were pretty close to last, on what we got out of left last year, in baseball.

  8. We have so many moving parts that it makes a blog like this fun–lots of speculation.
    To answer the question, “Who plays ss if Seager is moved to …??” Let’s look at Mark’s quote, “Taylor, who is a natural shortstop…”–Buster Olney. I can’t see a move to 3rd as a remedy if Seager has a bad wing. The throw to first is just as taxing if not more.

  9. If Seager goes down this year for a short term, I think Kike’ takes over at SS, and Tim Locastro would be first guy up as utility player. If more long term, Donovan Solano has played well enough to move into that position for a longer term in 2017 (if he is still with the team). Seager will be the SS until he can’t. The earliest he moves to 3B is when JT’s contract runs out after the 2020 season.
    .
    I am going on the premise that Corey only needs 10 games defensively to get ready for the season as has been offered. If he still cannot throw, then I would think that surgery becomes a consideration. He rested it with physical therapy all off-season. I am not a doctor, so I have no idea if another 2 months of rest is warranted, or if they just bite the bullet and fix it. I understand it is an elbow issue, but exactly what it is I am not sure. I just hope that the management is not blowing smoke on this one.

    1. At 30,000 feet everyone is an expert. One blogger today wrote: “The Dodgers learned the unfortunate yet predictable news that right handed hurler Tom Koehler will begin the season on the disabled list.”

      Predictable? This is the 2nd time he has been on the DL in his career. If Seager has to have surgery, some people will say “FAZ should have had it done after the season.”

      In both cases, people are saying “I AM SMARTER THAN FAZ – I KNEW THAT!” NO YOU ARE NOT! YOU ARE A DUMBASS!

      People like that make me furious! I do not suffer fools very well. If surgery was even an option, I guarantee Corey would have had it because I am certain he consulted the best doctors. It’s as stupid as saying a guy should have had Tommy John before it ruptured. Hopefully, Corey doesn’t need surgery, but even if he does, it doesn’t mean he can’t play SS.

      AC is right, maybe he will go to 3B someday, but right now he a dang good SS with a wing he’s trying to nurse along slowly. No more – No less.

      1. I think he may be headed to 3rd more to save his back than his elbow. If an elbow can be fixed for a pitcher, it can certainly be fixed for a SS. At 6’4″ it is hard to continually twist and turn and range between the hole at 3rd/SS and behind the 2nd base bag. That is harder on the back. But for now, he is one of the top three SS in all of MLB, and I see no reason for that to end anytime soon.

    1. Sure. Trade Two! Juan Querecuto and Wyatt Mills for Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson.

  10. Alex Verdugo is making a strong case to be on the team – he is flashing more power.

    Grandal is getting his stroke.

    Kike is Kike – backup all over the place. I read some where that Jake Pete was like Kike. No way. He can’t play SS or CF and Kike plays both very well.

  11. Rich Hill looks way ahead of where he was last spring. Verdugo took a pitch on the outer half and hit a no doubt HR to LF today. If Joc could learn to do that consistently instead of trying to pull everything he would be dangerous with his mad power, but he can’t or won’t. I think Verdugo may go down to AAA but not for long. Kemp has certainly not lost his power. Font goes against the Cubs tomorrow in what could be a big test.

    1. Rich Hill is good. If he has solved his blister problems, he may very well have a career year. 20 Wins !

        1. You don’t think he has the stuff?

          … and by the way, I do not think Kemp will win a Gold Glove. You said that, not me.

          I just think he will be better…

      1. That would be nice…I would be happy with 15 wins and 180 innings. He did say by starting his throwing program earlier he had no blister issues this spring.

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