After a great 2017 season, Washington Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor had high expectations this year. But so far, has failed to live up to them.
He broke out last season, when he hit .271 with 19 home runs and 17 stolen bases. But this season, he seems to have fallen back to earth in a big way.
He is currently hitting under the Mendoza line, at .193, but more importantly, the strikeouts are coming at an alarming rate.
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So far in 2018, he has 21 strikeouts in just 60 at-bats, and that comes with only four walks to his name. This start is making last season look more of an exception than progression.
When you dig deeper into the statistics, you see that before 2017, he had a career .315 BABIP, which then jumped way up to .363 last year. This is a good indicator that he had some good luck last year.
And while I have my nerd glasses on, there are some other troubling stats for the young center fielder.
This year, he has swung at 50 percent of the first pitches he has seen. His career number before this season is just 40 percent. So, he is pressing too hard at the plate to try and make something happen.
As a result of this, he has a tendency to get himself behind in the count. And in 60 ABs this season, he’s been in a two strike count 42 times. An astonishing 70 percent of the time. If you compare that to last season, he had a two strikes 227 times in 399 ABs, which equates to 56 percent.
It is fair to wonder how long of a leash Taylor would have if top prospect Victor Robles was not injured. He had started off with a .385 batting average and a couple SBs, before being removed with a left elbow injury last week.
But, for now, the Nats are going to keep rolling with Taylor. Although, with Robles’ injury not thought to be serious, that may not last for too much longer.
He is not the only Washington Nationals player slumping right now, but he could be the one under the most pressure.