DENVER – Kris Bryant and Chris Taylor’s career arcs at one point resembled Google stock and a troubled asset plotted on the same graph.
Bryant, after all, was baseball royalty from the jump – the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft, the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year, 2016 MVP and World Series champion, endorsement king and Chicago Cub royalty. Taylor was a fifth-round pick, a fringe big league shortstop for the Seattle Mariners, a career on the majors-minors shuttle his apparent destiny.
Yet in the final season before both are eligible for free agency, their lines are intersecting, a tribute to Taylor’s persistence, Bryant’s selfless mentality and the shifting manner players are valued and deployed across Major League Baseball.
This week at Coors Field, both drank in the All-Star Game experience. It was Bryant’s fifth and possibly final appearance for the Cubs, who are probably more likely to trade him by month’s end than re-sign him in the winter.
It was Taylor’s first All-Star Game, a reward for an excellent first half but also an acknowledgment of five invaluable seasons with the Dodgers.
Bryant, though, arrives not as a third baseman but as a do-everything, play-anywhere dynamo: He’s started at least 12 games at five positions this year, including 14 in center field and 27 at third. It is a resume not typically associated with baseball royalty but rather grinders like Taylor.
But look closer.
The Dodgers have won three NL pennants and a World…