Chris Taylor’s versatility often goes overlooked.
This season, stellar play from the utility man handed him a well-earned recognition: a spot on his first MLB All-Star team.
“It’s a dream come true,” Taylor told MLB.com. “When you’re a little kid playing in the backyard, you always dream of being a big league All-Star and you watch that All-Star Game every year and you hope to be there someday.”
The former Virginia standout will represent the Los Angeles Dodgers as a National League All-Star. He was selected as a reserve and becomes the third UVa player to make an MLB All-Star Game, joining Sean Doolittle and Ryan Zimmerman, who have both appeared in two All-Star Games in their careers.
Taylor played for UVa from 2010-12 and is a member of the UVa baseball Hall of Fame. His talents have translated well to the MLB level, where he’s carved out a role for himself on one of the best teams in baseball.
As of Monday morning, Taylor had started 79 games for the Dodgers this season. He’s hitting .268 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI. He’s also stolen seven bases and scored 59 runs.
Taylor’s versatile skillset as a hitter — he can run and hit for power — helps the lineup. His defensive versatility makes him a weapon for the Dodgers. Taylor has started games in all three outfield positions this season, while also earning at least two starts at third base, shortstop and second base.
“For Major League Baseball and the committee to recognize what he does and the value of his versatility — whether it’s the WAR, the production in the box, whatever it is — all I know is that I said it about a month ago, ‘He’s a Major League All-Star in 2021,’” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com. “And I’m glad this is the way it played out. Couldn’t be happier for him.”
Taylor will live out his dream on July 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Denver.
“It’s definitely going to be a surreal experience, and I’m looking forward to taking it all in,” Taylor said.