Washington Nationals: The Up and Down Career of Michael A. Taylor

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Michael A. Taylor has had a up and down career for the Washington Nationals. Is 2017 the year he lives up to the level of his fandom?

Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor has been a fan favorite in D.C. for years, but the question is why? Taylor has never really had any sustained success in the big leagues yet some hardcore Nationals fans still get giddy at the sound of his name.

He once again is having a great spring training and reigniting his fans. Can Taylor finally keep this going throughout the year?

Since his debut for the Nationals, Taylor’s Spring Training numbers have been absurd. In 158 at bats Taylor has hit 11 home runs, while hitting .348, stealing six bags and 32 RBI. These type of numbers are what get his fans going.

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Add to those types of numbers from Spring Training to his minor-league numbers, where he had a 22 home run season in 2014 and over .300 in two separate stints.

Taylor was the team’s number three prospect in 2011 right behind Bryce Harper and Sammy Solis.  The combination of these three things really make him into a fan favorite, just because he has so much potential.

The problem is he has never really capitalized in his talent. Taylor has been in the big leagues three times.

In 2014 Steven Souza Jr. hit the DL and Taylor got the call for 17 games and the plate 43 times. He only got eight hits in 2014, one of them was over the fence and he didn’t do much else for the Nats. In 2015 he got a real chance in the big leagues while Denard Span was dealing with plenty of injuries.

Taylor got to the plate 511 times that year, but once again he failed to impress. Hitting just .229 and still striking out over 30 percent of the time according to Fangraphs. Last year he also got another chance as starting center fielder Ben Revere went down with an injury. And, it will unfortunately be remembered for a huge error and a four strikeout game in Los Angeles.

This is so sad to see honestly, Taylor is extremely talented and, by all accounts, a great guy. I hope that he can be a star on the bench this year for the Nats, but as of right now he hasn’t really earned his extreme levels of fandom.

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If he combines the love the fans in D.C. have for him with a strong season we could be looking at a star with more than a cult following in the years to come.