Results tagged ‘ Michael A. Taylor ’

Nationals Game Notes: June 21 at Los Angeles Dodgers

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Washington Nationals (43-28) at Los Angeles Dodgers (39-33)
RHP Tanner Roark [6-4, 3.14] | LHP Scott Kazmir [5-7, 4.64]
Tuesday, June 21 l Game #72 / Road #40 l Dodger Stadium l Los Angeles, C.A. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS
The Nationals and Dodgers will meet for the second game of this three-game set on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium with Washington looking to snap a three-game losing streak…The Nationals have endured only four skids of three games or more (their longest being four games) this season…Washington split a four-game series with the San Diego Padres over the weekend and have opened this road trip 2-3…After three games here in L.A., the Nationals will travel east to Milwaukee for a weekend set.

  • Since May 29, the Nationals have built a National League East division lead from zero to 5.5 games…They’re averaging 5.7 runs per game and outscoring opponents, 119-88.
  • At 43-28 (.606), the Nationals have posted their best record through 71 games in club history (2005-pres.), and boast the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (44-27, .620) and the Chicago Cubs (47-21, .691)…Washington’s 43-28 record is also the fourth-best record in MLB, behind SFG, TEX (46-25, .648) and CHI.

HE’S NO MISS IOWA
Thrust into a starting role on short notice on Monday night, Nationals RHP Yusmeiro Petit turned in six solid innings of work, holding the Dodgers to three earned runs off five hits and one walk…Petit, who stepped in for RHP Stephen Strasburg (upper back strain), threw as many as six innings for the first time since May 23, 2015…The 94 pitches he threw were his most in an outing since tossing 102 in 6.1 innings of one-run ball at NYY on Sept. 22, 2013.

  • According to STATS, LLC., Petit is the first pitcher this season to save a game and start a game in a four-day span…Petit is just the second Nationals pitcher (2005-present) to accomplish that feat, joining RHP Dan Haren, who started vs. SFG on Aug. 15, 2013, picked up a save in an extra-innings contest at ATL on Aug. 17 and started vs. CHI on Aug. 20.

RESPECT THE A.
With a double in the sixth inning off LHP Clayton Kershaw, CF Michael A. Taylor extended his hitting streak in games he starts to 18…Taylor, who is also riding a seven-game traditional hitting streak, is hitting .302 since May 3, with eight doubles, three home runs and eight RBI.

  • Taylor put together one of the best games of his young career on Sunday afternoon, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, two RBI and two runs scored at Petco Park…Taylor’s first home run, on the game’s very first pitch, was his third leadoff home run of the season and fifth of his career…His second made Sunday the first multi-homer game of his career…Taylor had posted four hits in a game only once previously, July 25, 2015 at PIT.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Taylor is just the third player in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to produce four or more hits in a game, including at least two homers, from the leadoff spot…Taylor joined esteemed company in doing so, adding his name to a list that includes Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson (1979) and Alfonso Soriano (2006).

Nationals Game Notes: June 20 at Los Angeles Dodgers

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Washington Nationals (43-27) at Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33)
RHP Stephen Strasburg [10-0, 2.90] | LHP Clayton Kershaw [10-1, 1.58]
Monday, June 20 l Game #71 / Road #39 l Dodger Stadium l Los Angeles, C.A. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2/ESPN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’
The Nationals will begin the second leg of their current three-city, 10-game, 11-day trek Monday night in Los Angeles…Washington split a four-game series with the San Diego Padres over the weekend to open this road trip 2-2…After three games here in L.A., the Nationals will travel east to Milwaukee for a weekend set.

  • Washington has won seven of its last 10, 10 of its last 14, and 14 of its last 20 games, playing at a .700 clip since May 29…The Nationals have built a National League East division lead from zero to 5.5 games in that span…During this stretch, Washington is averaging 5.9 runs per game and is outscoring opponents, 118-84.
  • At 43-27 (.614), the Nationals have posted their best record through 70 games in club history (2005-pres.), and matched the 1979 Expos for the best record in franchise history.
  • The Nationals also boast the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (44-26, .629) and the Chicago Cubs (47-20, .701)…Washington’s 43-27 record is also tied for the fourth-best record in the Major Leagues, behind the Giants, Texas Rangers (45-25, .643) and the Cubs.

RESPECT THE A.
Nationals CF Michael A. Taylor put together one of the best games of his young career on Sunday afternoon, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, two RBI and two runs scored at Petco Park…Taylor’s first home run, on the game’s very first pitch, was his third leadoff home run of the season and fifth of his career…His second made Sunday the first multi-homer game of his career…Taylor had posted four hits in a game only once previously, July 25, 2015 at PIT.

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Taylor is just the third player in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to produce four or more hits in a game, including at least two homers, from the leadoff spot…Taylor joined esteemed company in doing so, adding his name to a list that includes Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson (1979) and Alfonso Soriano (2006).

POWERHOUSE PITCHING
RHP Stephen Strasburg takes his 10-0 record and his personal 13-game winning streak (dating to Sept. 15, 2015) into Monday night’s match-up with the Los Angeles Dodgers…The 13-game streak is a franchise best (Nationals Expos) and matches RHP Stan Coveleski (5/9/1925 – 7/26/1925) & RHP Walter Johnson (7/15/1924 – 9/22/1924) for the third-longest by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history.

  • The other side of Monday night’s pitching match-up is no slouch, either, as Washington will face Dodgers ace LHP Clayton Kershaw, who is 10-1 on the season…According to STATS, LLC., no other National League pitching match-up in over 100 years has featured two starting pitchers with double-digit win totals facing off this early (by date) in a season…The previous earliest date it happened in the NL was when LAD LHP Sandy Koufax (10-2) and CIN RHP Bob Purkey (12-1) met on June 22, 1962.

NO SINISTROPHOBIA HERE
The Nationals, who have faced just 14 left-handed starting pitchers this season, are in the midst of a stretch in which they’ll face four consecutive lefty starters, which started Sunday in San Diego…As a team, the Nationals are batting .271 against left-handed pitching this season, and their 25 home runs off southpaws are tied for the third-most in the National League.

  • Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy picked up his National League-best 29th multi-hit game of the season on Friday night with a double and a home run off SDP LHP Christian Friedrich…The home run was Murphy’s 12th of the year, but it was his first against a left-handed pitcher this season…Against left-handed pitching in 2016, Murphy is hitting .329…With his two hits on Friday night, Murphy is now batting an even .400 (62-for-155) (vs. RHP & LHP) in Nationals victories this year.
  • Murphy leads MLB in batting average (.358)…He leads the NL and ranks among MLB hitters in multi-hit games (T2nd, 29), OPS (2nd, .995), and hits (3rd, 92) while his .399 on-base percentage is 12th in MLB and eighth in the National League.

Nationals Game Notes: June 16 at San Diego Padres

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Washington Nationals (41-25) at San Diego Padres (27-40)
RHP Tanner Roark [5-4, 2.93] | RHP Erik Johnson [0-1, 9.64]
Thursday, June 16 l Game #67 / Road #35 l Petco Park l San Diego, C.A. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

WALK-OFF, WALK-OFF, READ ALL ABOUT IT
The Nationals and Cubs’ Wednesday afternoon rubber match turned into quite the back-and-forth affair as a 1-1 tie through seven-and-a-half innings turned into a 5-4, 12-inning walk-off Nationals victory…LF Jayson Werth’s two-out single off the wall in left center field scored CF Michael A. Taylor for the win…Taylor had scored SS Danny Espinosa (who was hit by a pitch and stole second base) to tie the game with a base hit one batter earlier…The Nationals came back from one-run deficits three different times in sealing the series victory over the Cubs.

  • Washington has now won five of its last six, eight of its last 10, and 12 of its last 16 games, playing at a .750 clip since May 29…They have built a National League East division lead from zero games to 5.0 games in that span…During this stretch, Washington is averaging 6.1 runs per game and is outscoring opponents, 97-61.
  • At 41-25 (.621), the Nationals have posted their best record through 66 games in club history (2005-pres.), and matched the 1979 Expos for the best record in franchise history.
  • The Nationals also boast the second-best record in the National League, behind only the Cubs (44-20, .688)…Washington’s 41-25 record is tied with the Texas Rangers for the second-best record in the Major Leagues.

WELL…HE SAID WE SHOULD DO THIS MORE OFTEN…
LF Jayson Werth’s walk-off single on Wednesday was his second walk-off hit in the last four games as the Nationals’ elder statesman also connected for a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth against the Phillies on Sunday…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the shortest span of days between two walk-off RBIs for any player this season…Two players played the hero within a four-day span last year: Starlin Castro and Martin Prado…Wednesday’s win was the Nationals’ fourth walk-off win of the season.

  • Since his pinch-hit grand slam against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 29, Werth is hitting .340 with a .443 on-base percentage and a .640 slugging percentage…In that span he has clubbed three doubles and four homers, walked 10 times and scored 10 runs while two of his 17 RBI drove in the game-winning run and three knocked home go-ahead tallies.

IN A PINCH? CALL THESE GUYS
As a group, the Nationals’ pinch hitters rank second in MLB/NL in home runs (9), and third in MLB (second in the NL) in slugging percentage (.662)…On the season, the Nationals have 19 pinch hits, with 12 of them going for extra bases (3 2B, 9 HR)…The nine pinch-hit home runs hit by the Nationals this season are already a single-season Nationals record (2005-pres.).

  • Stephen Drew’s pinch-hit home run to give the Nationals the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday was his third pinch-hit home run of the season and pulled him into a tie with Chris Heisey for the most on the team, as well as the most in a career Nationals history (2005-present).
  • On 5/13 vs. MIA, WSH hit two pinch-hit homers hit in the same game (Drew & Heisey) for the first time in team history (2005-pres.)…According to STATS, Inc., 7/13/73 vs. ATL was the only other time in franchise history that happened (Jim Lyttle and Hal Breeden).

JUMPIN’ JUNE
Since June 1st, the Washington Nationals offense ranks among National League clubs in slugging percentage (1st, .472), OPS (1st, .817), on-base percentage (1st, .344), batting average (2nd, .282), and runs scored (2nd, 78)…Their 92 strikeouts as a team are the second-fewest in the NL over this stretch.

Spring Training Preview: Outfielders

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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.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

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.

BRIAN GOODWIN

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.

BRYCE HARPER

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.

BEN REVERE

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.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

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.

JAYSON WERTH

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.

 

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

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.

 

Nationals recall LHP Sammy Solis & OF Michael A. Taylor

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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.

Nationals reinstate CF Denard Span from 15-day DL

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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).

Six Nationals prospects among Baseball America’s Top 100

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by Kyle Brostowitz

farm graphicIndustry 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.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals - Game TwoNo. 32 – OF Michael A. Taylor

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.

Washington Nationals v St Louis CardinalsNo. 91 – RHP A.J. Cole

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.

Spring Training Preview, Part V: Outfielders

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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.

We’ve already previewed the Nationals’ catchersrelievers, starting pitchers and infielders; now let’s review the 2015 outfielders.

*Note, 2014 totals reflect only Major League stats.

Bryce Harper

Division Series - Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants - Game Four2014 Season Totals: .273/.344/.423, 115 wRC+, 9.6% BB rate, 26.3% K rate, 1.3 fWAR in 395 PA.
2015 Steamer Proj.: .278/.363/.489, 137 wRC+, 11.4% BB rate, 20.4% K rate, 4.3 fWAR in 597 PA.

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.

Denard Span

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.

Miami Marlins v Washington NationalsComing 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.

Jayson Werth

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.

Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Washington Nationals - Game OneConsistency 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.

Nate McLouth

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

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals - Game Two2014 Season Totals: .205/.279/.359, 80 wRC+, 7.0% BB rate, 39.5% K rate, 0.1 fWAR in 43 PA.
2015 Steamer Proj.: .226/.286/.354, 79 wRC+, 7.2% BB rate, 28.1% K rate, -0.3 fWAR in 368 PA.

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.

Brian Goodwin

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.

Michael A. Taylor named Eastern League Rookie of the Year

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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.

 

Nationals select contract of OF Nate Schierholtz, option Michael A. Taylor to Triple-A

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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.

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