Michael Taylor stood to inherit the starting center field job from departed free agent Denard Span early this offseason, but with the ancient Jayson Werth still holding down the fort in left, the Nationals thought Taylor would serve them better as the first line of defense off the bench, trading for Ben Revere. Taylor did hit only .229 last year, hampered by a high strikeout rate that also plagued him in the minors, so it wouldn't hurt to ease him int full-time duty. Then again, his 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 472 at-bats suggest he could be a 20-20 player as a full-timer -- and that's even with a horrid contact rate and poor on-base skills. Taylor was considered a prospect long before he started doing damage in the minors, but he eventually delivered, hitting 23 homers and stealing 37 bases in 2014, so there's hope he progresses in a similar manner in the majors. Without an everyday job, though, he's a sleeper better left for NL-only leagues.
Taylor could open the season as the Nationals' fourth outfielder after the team traded for Ben Revere on Friday, William Ladson of MLB.com reports. The 24-year-old Taylor was gaining steam as a fantasy sleeper in recent months, with many envisioning an everyday role in center field and perhaps atop the batting order. However, the acquisition of Revere hurts Taylor outlook for playing time considerably. Increased time could always open up if there is an injury, but Taylor may play primarily against lefties to start.
Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor is not in the lineup for Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader. Bryce Harper will play center field with Matt den Dekker starting in right field in the first half of Saturday's twin bill. Look for Taylor to be available off the bench and likely start the nightcap.
Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor went 2 for 5 with an RBI in Monday's 5-1 victory over the Reds. Taylor had been mired in a 1-for-14 slump coming into the Monday's contest, so the two hits were a welcome development. It was only Taylor's third multi-hit outing of a September that has seen him hit just .195, his second-lowest monthly batting average in 2015. The 24-year-old outfielder certainly showed promise at the plate over his first full season in the majors, demonstrating some pop with the bat and stealing 16 bags in the process. However, until he improves on his robust 31.2 strikeout rate, Taylor will likely struggle to thoroughly fulfill his considerable potential.
Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor is back in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Phillies. Taylor's injuries came more from a soreness due to repeated dives in Friday's game than a tangible a injury, so it's unsurprising he's coming back after only one game missed. He's batting leadoff and pushing the Nationals outfield back to the usual alignment, with Bryce Harper at right field.
The absence from the lineup Saturday for Nationals outfelder Michael Taylor relates to a sore knee and hamstring, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Taylor reportedly dove multiple times Friday, likely resulting in the soreness he's suffering from Saturday.