One pitch is all he saw as a batter in the 2019 World Series. The ball was delivered at 96 miles per hour, though it might as well been set on a tee. With a fluid swing, bat crushed ball, and sent it careening off the concrete facade above the left centerfield seats. Michael A. Taylor had done what he does best in the postseason. However, producing for the Washington Nationals in the regular season is what had become a problem.
Already coasting with a nine run lead in the top of the ninth inning, the solo home run by Taylor, in Game 2 of the World Series didn’t have the memorable affect as his grand slam in Game 4 of the 2017 NLDS. Or even this three run home run he hit the following game. It’s how we will remember him, though.
Unfortunately, baseball is a business, and a “what have you done for me lately sport”. The .196 batting average Taylor produced in 2020 was another reason for the Nationals to move on. So, they cut ties with the once heralded prospect.
Michael A. Taylor took to Instagram to thank the entire Washington Nationals organization for his time with the team.
After seven seasons of inconsistent play, the Nationals parted ways with Taylor, making him a free agent for the first time in his career. He wasn’t free for long. He was one of the first major league free agents signed, scooped up by the Kansas City Royals in the end of November.
Taylor could have trashed his former team. Maybe for having three different managers during his time in town. Maybe for keeping him in Double-A for most of 2019. Maybe for not giving him regular playing time in 2020. The were reasons there if one looked hard enough for Taylor to trash his former team. He had no reason to burn bridges, however. You never know though, with how sports figures use social media these days, anything is apt to become public fodder.
Taylor did take to social media to express his gratitude to the only organization he’s known prior to this year.
Would we expect anything less from the outfielder with the boyish smile? The player who quietly went about his business, cracking the faintest of smiles after making highlight reel plays. Quite possibly, the Nationals moved on from Taylor before they officially non-tendered him. Taylor now has his closure from the Nationals, and he walked away the right way.
Best of luck in Kansas City, Michael. Continue to play with the youthful exuberance we love so much.