Washington Nationals: The sad saga of Michael Taylor has come to a close
The embattled outfielder has had some rough patches with the Washington Nationals, now Michael Taylor will try to latch on somewhere else.
I can’t say that I was surprised when I got the pop-up on my phone just now. Michael Taylor will no longer be employed by the Washington Nationals. He has cleared waivers and much like his friends before him, has decided to become a free agent rather than accept a minor league assignment.
Taylor was given ample opportunity to prove himself to the team, though was unable to provide consistent play. He was a fan favorite, for his stellar play in the outfield, and for is calm demeanor, though his inconsistent hitting ultimately did him in.
He was handed the center field job in 2015, though couldn’t hit enough to keep it. He hit .229 with an OPS of .640, and entering the next year lost his job to Ben Revere.
A bit of a breakout year came in 2017 when Taylor hit 19 home runs and had a career best .271 average. He also stole 17 bases, leading some to believe he could be a 30/30 guy one day.
That day never came.
In 2018 he was again given the center field job, though couldn’t do anything with it. He struggled to hit for a good average and his power numbers dropped as well.
The writing was on the wall last year, when he was sent to AA-Harrisburg. The Triple-A team was across the country in Fresno, so the Nationals wanted him close in case of an emergency call up. Taylor didn’t really tear the cover off the ball there either.
The emergence of Victor Robles made Taylor expendable and some thought he would be traded heading up to the trade deadline.
As Robles suffered through hamstring issues, Taylor played well in the playoffs as a fill in. He’ll leave the organization with fans remembering his lone at-bat in the World Series, a long home run into the deep seats at Minute Maid Park during the blowout in Game 2.
As a part time player this year Taylor hit .196 and sealed his fate with the Washington Nationals. Rather than tender him a contract and go through arbitration, they decided to cut ties with him.
Taylor will sign a major league deal next year and provide depth for some team, leaving Nationals fans to wonder what could have been. The long awaited decision on the future of Michael Taylor has finally been made.