- - Monday, October 22, 2018

Drafted in the fifth round in 2012 by Seattle from the University of Virginia, Taylor was in the minor leagues with the Mariners when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016. But soon after the deal, the versatile Taylor was in the majors with Los Angeles.

Taylor remade his swing — and his career in the process — and is now getting ready for his second World Series in as many years with the Dodgers. He hit .288 with 21 homers and 17 steals in 2017 and batted .254 with 17 longballs in regular-season play this season.

The Virginia Beach native certainly played a role in getting Los Angeles back to the Fall Classic, as the left fielder’s diving catch in the fifth inning saved a run and helped the Dodgers beat the Brewers on Saturday night in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

“I knew it was in the gap,” Taylor said. “I was just trying to run hard, get to the spot, and I think it tailed enough to where I kind of had to change my route and go back toward the fence a little bit, but I’m just glad I caught it.”

Taylor will be one of several players with local ties in the World Series, which begins Tuesday night in Boston.

Boston Red Sox outfielder and ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr., was born in Richmond and grew up near the Virginia capital.

Bradley played at the University of South Carolina, as did former Orioles and current Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce.

In Game 3, Pearce also went deep for the Red Sox, lofting a long homer down the left field line.

Former Nationals currently on World Series clubs include Dodgers reliever Ryan Madson and Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon.

Madson was acquired by the Nationals from the Oakland A’s in July 2017. He pitched in 20 games and had a 1.27 ERA with Washington in 2017, but was 2-5 with a 5.28 ERA in 58 games this season before he was dealt to the Dodgers in late August.

The right-hander was part of the Philadelphia bullpen that won the World Series in 2008.

Leon was a backup catcher for the Nationals and played in a total of 34 games with the club from 2012-14.

Other former Orioles in the World Series include Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado and Red Sox reliever Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez played in the minors with Baltimore from 2010 until he was traded to Boston during the 2014 season.

Taylor starred at Frank Cox High in Virginia Beach before playing three years in Charlottesville. He played in 86 games in the majors with the Mariners before his 2016 trade to the Dodgers.

While he was an infielder in the Seattle system, Taylor has been used in center field, left field and at shortstop, second base and left field by the Dodgers. The Virginia native is now headed to the World Series for the second straight season.

“It’s been an awesome year,” Taylor said. “But we’re not done yet.”

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