Michael Taylor (.228, 6 home runs, 12 RBI’s)
When the Washington Nationals let Span go, most thought it would mean that Michael Taylor was going to be the everyday center fielder. Even with the Revere trade, Taylor had the chance to play everyday and didn’t have his best month (.183, three home runs, four RBI’s).
Baker tried Taylor out of the leadoff spot in April, but he strikes out way too many times to be an effective hitter in that spot. This season, he has hit .190 in leadoff situations with 21 strikeouts. While that is only second on the team (Anthony Rendon – 23), that is way too high of a number.
When I look back at the month of June for Taylor, it had its high points and low points. On June 19, the 25-year-old went 4-for-4 with two home runs in a loss to the San Diego Padres. Three days later, in Los Angeles, Taylor went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts and made the error in the ninth inning that allowed the Dodgers to come back and get the win and the sweep.
On July 4, the Washington Nationals sent Taylor down to triple-A when they activated Jonathan Papelbon off the disabled list. Even though Taylor came back four days later to help the bench, he still should be getting more opportunities to play everyday and continue his development. He has the power to be successful, but the high strikeout rate is still something that needs to be corrected going forward.
Next: Gio Gonzalez