Sometimes a player just needs a change of scenery. At least for one day, Michael A. Taylor can attest. The embattled former outfielder of the Washington Nationals had fallen on hard times and fallen out of favor with the team. He seems to be fitting right in with his new team, the Kansas City Royals.
While the Nationals sat at home on Opening Day, determining who would go into quarantine, the Royals were busy scoring two touchdowns against the Texas Rangers. The hit parade began in the first inning and ran all the way to the eighth. When the dust had finally settled, the Royals had fifteen hits and fourteen runs to show for their efforts.
Michael A. Taylor began his Kansas City Royals career with a bang, hammering out three hits on Opening Day.
Before Taylor signed his 1 YR/ $1.75M contract with the Royals, we speculated the team from KC might be a good fit for him. Taylor was cheap, a good defensive player, and a veteran presence on a team with some young talent. At the time Taylor signed in November, the Royals were still a rebuilding franchise. Mike Minor was then given $18M. Carlos Santana (whom the Nationals had interest in) was signed for $17.5M. Wade Davis and a couple other bullpen pieces were brought in, and Andrew Benintendi was acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
Taylor quickly went from a cheap placeholder to a viable piece of the puzzle. He’s paid dividends immediately.
Immediately as in the first pitch he saw. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Taylor slapped a run scoring single to center. In his second at-bat, Taylor smoked a home run. As soon as he connected with the ball, he put his head down and shot out of the batter’s box. We became accostomed to seeing that image when Taylor was wearing a Nationals uniform.
For his third plate appearance, Taylor produced another run scoring single. Three trips to the plate, three runs driven in. Taylor had only two multi-hit games all of 2020, and just one three-hit game the past two years.
Baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. On the first day, however, Taylor got out of the blocks fast in his debut with the new team.