Star Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was out for the season in 2018 due to having Tommy John surgery, but the team used organizational depth to trade for Manny Machado and made the World Series. This time around, Seager — who was hitting .382/.447/.671 in his last 20 games — went down with a hamstring injury on June 11 and the Dodgers’ calling card paid off again.
I mention it often, but it deserves mention probably more often than I say it. The Dodgers have so much depth in the organization, it’s obscene. Rich Hill gets hurt and Ross Stripling slides easily into the rotation. Rookies hit walk-off homers in three straight games. The team just keeps winning. It’s a machine.
Yet another cog is Chris Taylor.
Acquired from the Mariners for former pitching prospect Zach Lee in 2016, Taylor morphed into a stud leadoff man for the 2017 Dodgers. He was worse last season and then earlier this year was in danger of completely losing his playing time, but then Seager went down.
The Dodgers then needed Taylor everyday at shortstop, and everything changed.
Before the Seager injury, Taylor was hitting .218/.283/.391 in 193 plate appearances. Since then, he’s slashing a ridiculous .426/.476/.741 with eight doubles, three homers, 16 RBI, 10 runs and two steals in 63 plate appearances.
As noted, he’s stepping up to fill the void. The Dodgers are 11-5 in the 16 games since Seager fell injured and have a case to be called the best team in baseball, even without one of their most talented players.
Seager is looking to return after the All-Star break, so Taylor only needs to hold down shortstop for the next eight games.
Meantime, the Dodgers have the best record in baseball, a 12-game lead and continue to prove their depth is what makes them such an impressive organization. Taylor is just the latest in a litany of examples.