Results tagged ‘ Michael A. Taylor ’
SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW – OUTFIELDERS
This spring, 63 players — each member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, plus 23 additional non-roster invitees — will vie for the 25 spots on Dusty Baker’s Opening Day ball club. Over the course of this week, we are introducing these players in their position groups, concluding today with the outfielders.
March 5 – Starting Pitchers
March 6 – Relief Pitchers
March 7 – Catchers
March 8 – Infielders
March 9 – Outfielders
MATT den DEKKER
2015 Season Totals: .253/.315/.485, 117 wRC+, 8.2% BB rate, 18.2% K rate, 0.4 fWAR
Acquired late last spring from the New York Mets’ organization, den Dekker split time between Triple-A Syracuse and Washington during the first four months of the 2015 season. The left-handed hitting outfielder turned it on late in the year, slashing .302/.368/.616 in 86 August at-bats for the Chiefs and then exceeded those numbers by hitting .320/.370/.620 in 50 at-bats with the Nationals. The 28-year-old has power and can play all three outfield positions.
2015 Season Totals: N/A
Goodwin, a fleet-footed defender, has the ability to play center field, swipe bases and hit for power from the left side of the plate. He recorded a career-high 46 RBI in 114 games for Double-A Harrisburg after returning from a left shoulder injury that plagued him during the 2014 season. Following the season, he excelled in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .316 (42-for-133) with eight doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI, 19 walks, five stolen bases and 21 runs scored in 35 games for Bravos de Margarita.
2015 Season Totals: .330/.460/.649, 197 wRC+, 19.0% BB rate, 20.0% K rate, 9.5 fWAR
Few players in baseball history have matched Harper’s achievements at such a young age. With a dominant display of plate discipline and power in 2015, Harper hit an incredible .330/.460/.649, led the National League in home runs (42), runs scored (118) and OPS (1.109) and also tallied 124 walks. His historic age-22 campaign earned him National League MVP honors, as he garnered all 30 first-place votes to become the youngest player ever to win the award unanimously.
2015 Season Totals: .306/.342/.377, 98 wRC+, 5.0% BB rate, 10.1% K rate, 1.9 fWAR
Revere, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in January, brings contact and speed to the top of the Nationals’ batting order. The 5-foot-9 left-handed hitter stole 49 bases and tied Denard Span with an NL-leading 184 hits in 2014, and then matched that season’s .306 batting average with another .306 campaign in 2015. Revere is of the game’s toughest men to strike out, fanning in less than 10 percent of his plate appearances with Minnesota, Philadelphia and Toronto.
MICHAEL A. TAYLOR
2015 Season Totals: .229/.282/.358, 69 wRC+, 6.8% BB rate, 30.9% K rate, 1.0 fWAR
Pressed into action in 2015 following offseason surgeries performed on Jayson Werth and Denard Span, Taylor held his own in his first full big league season with the Nationals. The 24-year-old blasted 14 home runs, drove in 63 runs, stole 16 bases and finished ninth among all qualified Major League outfielders with a 12.4 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating). Despite hitting just .229 on the season, Taylor came up big in the clutch, hitting .317/.397/.500 with runners in scoring position.
2015 Season Totals: .221/.302/.384, 87 wRC+, 10.1% BB rate, 22.2% K rate, -0.3 fWAR
Werth was just beginning to heat up at the plate before a pitch injured his left wrist on May 15, costing him 60 games during the middle of the year. The 36-year-old slugger recovered in time to put together a solid month from August 18–September 18, batting .303/.397/.598 with 10 doubles, eight homers, 20 RBI and 25 runs scored in 30 games over that span. Werth looks to return to his 2013-14 form, when he compiled a 144 OPS+ and registered 9.7 WAR according to FanGraphs.com.
TONY CAMPANA…Speedy lefty owns an 88 percent stolen base success rate in four MLB seasons.
CHRIS HEISEY…Former Reds outfielder is reunited with Nationals Manager Dusty Baker in Viera.
REED JOHNSON…Back in 2016, Johnson played in 17 games for the Nationals a season ago.
LOGAN SCHAFER…Former Milwaukee product played 49 games in center field for the Brewers in 2015.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals recalled left-handed pitcher Sammy Solis from Double-A Harrisburg and outfielder Michael A. Taylor from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday, placed outfielder Reed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain and optioned right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole to Syracuse.
Solis, 26, joins the Nationals for the first Major League assignment of his career. Should he pitch in either of the Nationals’ next two games, he will become the fifth rookie to make his Major League debut this month for Washington.
Entering the season as the highest-rated left-handed pitcher in the Nationals’ system (No. 15), according to Baseball America, Solis is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three games for Harrisburg this season. Joining the Senators from extended Spring Training just 10 days ago, Solis struck out three batters in four innings and allowed one earned run. Over the course of his Minor League career, Solis is 12-5 with a 3.30 ERA.
A second-round selection of the Nationals’ in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Solis has consistently been rated as one of the organization’s top talents. Working hard to come back from 2012 Tommy John surgery, Solis is 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA since returning in 2013.
Taylor, 24, rejoins the Nationals for his second Major League stint of the season. The dynamic outfielder started in center field for the Nationals on Opening Day, and hit .271 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage in 12 games while Denard Span completed his rehab from core muscle surgery.
In 29 Major League games, the 2014 Double-A Eastern League Rookie of the Year has hit .241 with six doubles, one triple, three home runs, 13 RBI and two stolen bases.
Taylor, who Baseball America rated as the No. 2 prospect and “Best Athlete” in the Nationals’ system, as well as the No. 32 prospect in all of baseball entering the season, has appeared in seven games for Triple-A Syracuse this year. He’s hit .417 (10-for-24) for the Chiefs, with a .500 OBP and .580 SLG with one double, one home run, three RBI and two stolen bases.
Johnson, 38, has appeared in 12 games for the Nationals this season, going 4-for-18 at the plate, including 1-for-7 with an RBI-double as a pinch hitter. The veteran outfielder signed a Minor League contract with the Nationals on March 30 and made the Major League roster out of Spring Training.
Cole, 23, made his Major League debut against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night, starting and tossing two innings in the Nationals’ 13-12 comeback victory at Turner Field. Cole allowed nine runs (four earned) on nine hits and one walk with one strikeout.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals got one of their most important cogs back on Sunday morning when they returned from rehab and reinstated center fielder Denard Span from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Michael A. Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse.
Span, who underwent surgery to repair a right core muscle injury on March 9, returns to the Nationals’ active roster after a three-game rehab stint with Double-A Harrisburg and Single-A Hagerstown where he went 5-for-12 (.417) with one home run, two RBI and one walk.
One of the most dynamic center fielders in the game, Span is coming off arguably his finest Major League season. Hitting .302 with a Nationals (2005-present) single-season record 184 hits in 2014, Span collected a career-high 52 extra-base hits last season, to go along with a career-best 31 stolen bases.
The 31-year-old became just the sixth qualified player in Nationals history to hit .300 or better, joining Cristian Guzman, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Dmitri Young and Ryan Zimmerman.
From June 28-Aug. 10, Span reeled off a 36-game on-base streak that was the second-longest in Nationals history. During that stretch, Span hit .396 with a .463 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage, clubbing seven doubles and one triple, and walking 19 times.
Taylor made a strong impression during the Nationals’ first 12 games this season. Considered the best defensive outfielder in the Nationals’ system, according to Baseball America, Taylor hit .271 with a .314 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage. The 24-year-old currently leads all qualified National League rookies in hits (1st, 13), extra-base hits (T1st, 6), and total bases (1st, 24).
Industry expert Baseball America released its 2015 Top 100 Prospect list on Thursday night and the Washington Nationals placed six prospects on that list. They were tied with the Cubs and Diamondbacks with six, and behind only the Mets (7) and Red Sox (7) for the most in Major League Baseball.
Below is a quick look at the Nationals prospects represented on this year’s Top 100 list:
No. 7 – RHP Lucas Giolito
Giolito jumped from No. 21 in the 2014 ranking all the way into the Top 10 thanks to a stellar 2014 campaign, and for the second straight season, he is ranked as the top prospect in the Nationals system. Giolito was named the 2014 Washington Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 10-2 with an organizational-best 2.20 ERA in 20 starts for Single-A Hagerstown. He was selected to represent the Nationals in the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Minneapolis. His 110 strikeouts were fifth-best among Nationals farmhands.
Taylor was absent from the 2014 Top 100 list but catapulted to No. 32 after a breakout 2014 season that included his Major League debut. He has always boasted advanced defensive skills, but showed his ability at the plate last season. He began the season with Double-A Harrisburg before being promoted to Triple-A Syracuse on Aug. 2 and was summoned to D.C. on Aug. 12 for his big league debut. He posted his first hit (second-inning single off Rafael Montero) and home run (sixth inning, two-run, off Carlos Torres) in his MLB debut, Aug. 12 at New York. At the top two levels of Washington’s chain, he ranked among system leaders in batting (fourth, .304 AVG), home runs (second, 23) & stolen bases (third, 37). Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Eastern League. Along with Giolito, Taylor was selected to play in the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures game in Minneapolis.
No. 49 – RHP Reynaldo Lopez
Like Taylor, Lopez was unranked prior to the 2014 season, but went 7-3 with a 1.08 ERA in 16 starts between Short-Season Auburn and Single-A Hagerstown to vault into the top 50 in all of baseball. From July 9 through the end of the season, a span of 10 starts (55.0 IP), Lopez allowed just one earned run (a solo home run) while holding opposing batters to a .126 average. Following the season, he was rated by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the South Atlantic League and the No. 2 prospect in the New York-Penn League.
No. 90 – RHP Erick Fedde
Fedde was the Nationals’ first-round selection (18th overall) in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft after going 8-2 with a 1.76 ERA (15 ER/76.2 IP) and 82 strikeouts in 11 starts for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2014. He was named the 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year. Fedde underwent “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery in mid-May, but remains ranked as the No. 4 prospect in Washington’s system.
In his second season in the organization, after returning in 2013, Cole took the next step in his development, going 13-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 25 combined starts between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. He ranked among Nationals farmhands in wins (tied, first), strikeouts (tied, third) and ERA (fourth), and his 13 wins marked a career high. Cole was a non-roster invitee to 2014 Spring Training and did not allow a run in three Grapefruit League contests (6.2 IP, 5 H, 7 K).
No. 96 – RHP Joe Ross
Ross came to the Nationals’ chain from San Diego in the three-way deal that sent OF Steven Souza Jr. and LHP Travis Ott to Tampa Bay. Prior to being traded to the Nationals, Ross was rated by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in San Diego’s chain. In 2014, he went a combined 10-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 23 games/22 starts between Single-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. While with Lake Elsinore, he was named a California League mid-season All-Star. He was promoted to Double-A in mid-July. Following the season, he was rated by Baseball America as the No. 6 prospect in the Single-A California League.
by Amanda Comak
Pitchers and catchers will report to the Washington Nationals’ Spring Training facility in Viera, Fla., in just nine days, so as our review of the Nationals’ 40-man roster hits the home stretch, we reach the outfield.
With the exception of swapping corner assignments, the Nationals’ outfield unit is once again one of the most stable in the Major Leagues. Jayson Werth, Denard Span and Bryce Harper will all return as the Nationals’ starting unit, with Nate McLouth, Michael A. Taylor and Brian Goodwin rounding out the 40-man outfield talent. And that doesn’t even include Ryan Zimmerman, Kevin Frandsen, Tyler Moore, and Jeff Kobernus, infielders on the Nationals’ 40-man who also have outfield experience.
*Note, 2014 totals reflect only Major League stats.
If the 2014 Postseason was any indication, Bryce Harper could be on the verge of posting a career season. Returning from a thumb injury on June 30, Harper hit .268 with a .342 on-base percentage and a .424 slugging percentage in his final 78 games of the season, clubbing 12 home runs. In the Postseason, though, Harper was one of the Nationals’ best at the plate, slugging .882 in the four-game series (smacking three home runs, one double and driving in four runs). Putting injuries behind him, Harper is expected to move to right field on a primary basis this season, giving the Nationals the added use of his strong throwing arm in a new spot.
2014 Season Totals: .302/.355/.416, 117 wRC+, 7.5% BB rate, 9.7% K rate, 3.8 fWAR in 668 PA.
2015 Steamer Proj.: .282/.338/.387, 104 wRC+, 7.5% BB rate, 11.1% K rate, 2.8 fWAR in 637 PA.
Coming off a career year in many offensive categories, including 31 stolen bases, Denard Span returns to the top of the Nationals’ lineup as a consistent presence and one of the best leadoff men in the league. After securing the Nationals’ single-season record for hits (184) and leading the league in that category, the Nationals are looking for another solid season out of their slick-fielding outfielder. Span did spend the offseason rehabbing a core muscle injury but is working to be ready to go at full speed by the start of Spring Training. Entering his third season in Washington, Span’s comfort level with his surroundings, working with his fellow outfielders, as well as hitting coach Rick Schu should all bode well for the final year of his existing contract.
2014 Season Totals: .292/.394/.455, 141 wRC+, 13.2% BB rate, 18.0% K rate, 4.8 fWAR in 629 PA.
2015 Steamer Proj.: .285/.374/.454, 134 wRC+, 11.8 % BB rate, 18.6% K rate, 2.8 fWAR in 536 PA.
Consistency has come to be Jayson Werth’s hallmark in a Nationals’ uniform, and as he enters his fifth season in the District, the expectation that he will remain a stalwart in the Nationals’ lineup remains. While Werth will be working to come back from arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder, his averages from the previous three years are telling: .303 BA, .394 OBP, .479 SLG, and his projections reflect another strong season. Moving to left field should allow him to rest his legs a little more throughout the season, and hopefully keep him fresh deep into October.
2014 Season Totals: .173/.280/.237, 50 wRC+, 9.9% BB rate, 21.6% K rate, -0.6 fWAR in 162 PA.
2015 Steamer Proj.: .238/.312/.354, 88 wRC+, 8.7% BB rate, 17.6% K rate, 0.0 fWAR in 164 PA.
Nate McLouth’s first season in the District was derailed by a torn labrum in his right shoulder, but while the surgery to repair the injury ended his 2014 season prematurely, the Nationals are hopeful he will bounce back well in 2015. The left-handed hitting outfielder gives the Nationals good depth as he can play all three outfield positions, and his bat off the bench should be a nice weapon for Nationals manager Matt Williams.
Michael A. Taylor
Michael A. Taylor’s breakout season saw him post eye-popping numbers in Double-A Harrisburg (.313 BA, .336 OBP, .539 SLG, 17 2B, 22 HR, 34 SB), earn a midseason promotion to Triple-A Syracuse and the Major Leagues shortly thereafter with a debut that featured his first hit, as well as home run, at Citi Field. The offseason trade of Steven Souza Jr. pushed Taylor up on the Nationals’ depth chart. Taylor is considered one of the most athletic talents in all of Washington’s system, projecting as good insurance for the Nationals, particularly in center field, where he has the potential to develop into a plus defender.
2014 Season Totals: N/A
2015 Steamer Proj.: .225/.301/.331, 82 wRC+, 9.2% BB rate, 25.2% K rate, 0.0 fWAR in 1 PA.
A first-round selection by the Nationals (No. 34 overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Goodwin had a solid year at Double-A Harrisburg, made good progress in a late-season promotion to Triple-A and performed very well in the Arizona Fall League in 2014 (.296/.333/.444). That was enough to earn him a spot on the Nationals’ 40-man roster for the first time. The promising young outfielder figures to give the Nationals another good depth option as he projects mostly as a center fielder but can play left and right field as well.
by Amanda Comak
Michael A. Taylor’s breakout season earned him his first Major League promotion, featured his first Major League hit and home run, and catapulted him through the Nationals’ system.
On Saturday, it also earned him an accolade from the Double-A Eastern League.
Taylor, 23, was named the 2014 Eastern League Rookie of the Year after hitting .313 with a .396 on-base percentage and a .539 slugging percentage in 98 games with Double-A Harrisburg this season.
Taylor, who was promoted to Triple-A on Aug. 4 and was then called up to the Major Leagues on Aug. 10, clubbed 17 doubles, two triples and 22 home runs in Double-A. He drove in 61 runs, scored 74 and stole 34, all while playing defense at a level that has prompted many evaluators to rank him among the best defensive outfielders in the entire organization.
Taylor led the Eastern League in OPS (.935) at the time of his promotion to Triple-A and was also ranked among the leaders in slugging percentage (.539, second), total bases (207, second), runs scored (74, second), home runs (22, third), on-base percentage (.396, fourth), stolen bases (34, fourth) and batting average (.313, sixth).
The Florida native was selected by the Nationals in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale.
by Amanda Comak
Adding a left-handed option to their bench, the Washington Nationals selected the contract of outfielder Nate Schierholtz on Saturday morning, optioned outfielder Michael A. Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse and placed outfielder Nate McLouth (right shoulder inflammation) on the 60-Day Disabled List.
Schierholtz, a .254 career hitter (520-for-2050) with 117 doubles, 51 home runs and 224 RBI in 776 career games with the Cubs (2013 – ‘14), Phillies (2012) and Giants (2007 – ‘12), was signed by the Nationals to a Minor League contract on Aug. 18. Earlier this season, he collected 19 extra-base hits (10 doubles, three triples, six home runs) in 99 games for the Chicago Cubs.
A left-handed hitter, Schierholtz is a career .289 pinch hitter (48-for-166) with four home runs and 23 RBI. Schierholtz’s .763 OPS as a pinch hitter ranks fourth among active players with at least 150 career plate appearances in a pinch-hitting role.
Schierholtz, 30, is one season removed from his finest offensive campaign. In 2013, his first year with the Cubs, he hit .251 and established career highs in home runs (21), doubles (32), extra-base hits (56), RBI (68) and runs scored (56).
Schierholtz is a veteran of 11 postseason contests and earned a pair of World Series rings, both with the Giants (2010, 2012). A U.S. Olympian (bronze medal) in 2008, Schierholtz was originally San Francisco’s second-round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.
Taylor, one of the Nationals top-ranked outfield prospects, hit .167 (3-for-18) in seven games during his first Major League stint. In his Major League debut on Aug 12 at Citi Field, Taylor was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
by Amanda Comak
Let me start by stating that things could not be better here in Viera. The weather is wonderful, the workouts are crisp and the results have been encouraging. Yes, a team’s Grapefruit League winning percentage can, at times, be misleading, but winning games is always better than the alternative.
Seven wins, four losses and a tie. But what is most encouraging is how Manager Matt Williams has them playing the game. I love the aggressive base running. Taking an extra base. How fantastic was it to see Danny Espinosa score from second base on Saturday on a dribbler back to the pitcher? This brand of baseball really is infectious.
Fifteen home runs in 12 games. Only five allowed. That’s a good ratio.
Strong offensive starts from stalwarts like Ian Desmond (.286, 2 HR, 3 RBI), Adam LaRoche (2 HR, 4 RBI), Wilson Ramos (.474, HR, 10 RBI) and Ryan Zimmerman (.389, HR, 2 RBI) among others.
And many of our young players are making their marks. Zach Walters is hitting .615 with four extra-base hits and five RBI. He is as hot as anyone. Brian Goodwin and Michael A. Taylor have each made memorable catches in the outfield. Matt Skole hit .357 and four of his five hits went for extra bases before he was assigned to Minor League camp earlier this week so that he can get additional at-bats.
- I have not even mentioned the pitching. There truly are too many to name, but I’ll risk mentioning three standouts: Taylor Jordan (team-leading 11 strikeouts), Jerry Blevins (3.2 hitless innings) and A.J. Cole (6.2 scoreless innings).
- Forgive me if I think it is 2005 all over again watching Jamey Carroll and Luis Ayala perform admirably as they battle for roster spots. Jamey’s approach at the plate (.333 OBP), base running and defensive versatility are all a real plus. Meanwhile, Luis can throw a strike whenever he needs to. He has that same veteran savvy gene our friend Livan Hernandez had during his playing days.
- And Matt Williams? What’s not to like? Crisp, precise and purposeful baseball usually yields wins. I love what Matt brings to our dugout and clubhouse. I especially like how our team has taken to his aggressive nature.
- I was pleased to see President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo sign Michael Gonzalez to a Minor League deal last weekend. Gonzalez was a big part of our bullpen’s success in 2012 and there are very few southpaw relievers who can match his experience in tight situations. Welcome back Michael!
- I just counted. Only three of the club’s 18 errors have been committed by players who were “regulars” in Washington last season. And one of those miscues was charged to Mr. Perfect, Denard Span! Remember, Denard did not commit an error last season. As I have said before, he should have won a Gold Glove!
- I’d like to thank all of our fans in Central Florida, but especially those from our local area on the Space Coast (Viera, Melbourne and Rockledge). The crowds for the Cardinals and Yankees games in the last week were the two largest we have ever enjoyed hosting.
- As for our fans from back home, I’ve had quite a few friends remark upon arrival in Viera about the significant pockets of Nationals fans on their flights from DC to Orlando. It’s hard to ignore all the smiles and Curly W shirts, sweaters and hats. It is great to see so many of our fans catching on to just how special Spring Training is.
Until next time …
- Posted on March 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm
- 1 Comment
- Tags: A.J. Cole, Adam LaRoche, Brian Goodwin, Danny Espinosa, Denard Span, Ian Desmond, Jamey Carroll, Jerry Blevins, Livan Hernandez, Luis Ayala, Mark Lerner, Matt Williams, Michael A. Taylor, Michael Gonzalez, Mike Rizzo, Ryan Zimmerman, Taylor Jordan, Wilson Ramos, Zach Walters