Dodgers might have three top five MVP candidates
The first is certainly Justin Turner, and I’ll be the first to admit I mocked a comment over at TBLA when someone suggested that Turner might win the MVP back in March. I liked Turner but I never thought he could put together a full-season of MVP worthy stats. I was wrong, Justin Turner is certainly in the MVP conversation as we pass the 100 game part of the season.
The second is Cody Bellinger who ignited the Dodger offense when he joined the team in late April. Cody has slowed down in July but he still finds ways to contribute key clutch hits while displaying prodigious defensive tools for a 1st baseman. The clean up hitter on a team that has won 70 games on July 25th is going to get a long look by the MVP committee.
The shocking 3rd option is not Corey Seager but Chris Taylor. As much as Cody Bellinger saved the Dodgers this year when Adrian Gonzalez went down, Chris Taylor did the same when Andrew Toles went down. He just won’t stop hitting. Using Fangraphs, he’s the second best hitter in the NL in July. He only trails someone named Harper. The metrics are small sample size but he’s playing LF like he was born to it. We had recently had to watch Carl Crawford with his speed hesitate on just about every ball, Toles seemed to be in the same mode. Taylor flies to the ball like a magnet to a steel frig. Such a joy to watch play LF, and what an arm. He made an error on Monday, and I think it was the first ball I’d ever seen him misplay. Taylor also has great baserunning instincts. He is very aggressive and takes lots of chances, but for the most part, they pay off. He’s the best LF in the NL. Here are the stats to prove it.
Taylor is not without some red flags. The great walk rate he had earlier in the year has cratered but you don’t notice because he gets two hits every night. His BABIP is over .500 in July and sits at .426 for the season. No one can carry a BABIP that high so regression is due. But he does seem to barrel up just about everything, so while we know there has to be regression it does seem reasonable to expect Chris Taylor to be an above average core player for the Dodgers for years to come. Right now he’s the best LF in the NL. Here are the stats to prove it.
And just for fun this is what he has done lately.
Since the all-star break:
Date PA H 2B 3B HR RBI Jul 14 4 2 0 0 0 0 Jul 15 5 2 0 1 0 0 Jul 16 4 1 0 1 0 0 Jul 18 5 4 1 0 0 0 Jul 19 4 3 1 0 1 2 Jul 20 4 2 1 0 0 0 Jul 21 4 0 0 0 0 0 Jul 22 2 2 0 1 1 3 Jul 23 5 2 0 0 0 0 Jul 24 4 3 0 0 0 1 Jul 25 4 2 2 0 0 3
Of course, the Nationals have three of their own very credible MVP candidates in Harper, Rendon, and Zimmerman. There is a reason why these are the two best teams in the NL.