WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — After going 2-for-4 with a homer in his Major League debut in the Nationals 7-1 victory over the New York Mets Tuesday night, it’s probably time for fans to get to know Michael Taylor.
Taylor — a 6-foot-3-inch tall, lanky 210-pound 23-year-old outfielder — has been promoted twice in the past two weeks, both times to fill the roster spot of another young outfielder high on the Nationals prospect list, Steven Souza Jr.
Souza, called up last week to fill in for the shoulder-injured Nate McLouth, afforded Taylor a Triple-A promotion to Syracuse, where Taylor went 5-for-17 (.385) with 2 RBI and a stolen base in four games.
Taylor earned his Major League promotion — to again take Souza’s place in the lineup — after Souza smashed into the right field wall at Turner Field last Friday.
Through no fault of his own in his promotions arising from injury, Taylor can be credited with maximizing his opportunities, doing so again while starting in right field last night in Jayson Werth’s stead at Citi Field.
In his first Major League at-bat, Taylor singled to center field in the second inning. Taylor grounded out to third baseman David Wright in his second at-bat in the fourth.
Then, in the top of the sixth — Wilson Ramos on first, and the Nationals leading the Mets comfortably, 5-0 — something special happened: Michael Taylor jacked his first-career home run to right field off Carlos Torres.
Taylor would have one more career ‘first’ before the night was through, grounding into a double play in the top of the eighth inning.
Pretty stellar debut for young Michael Taylor, who manager Matt Williams told The Sports Junkies should get plenty of opportunities this week if Werth continues to be bothered by his right shoulder, which the Nationals are monitoring on a day-to-day basis.
“If Jason’s out, then Michael’s gonna get a big chance to get in there a lot,” Williams said. “So Michael Taylor, if he continues to hit like he did last night, will be a big part of this week for us.”
If his numbers come anywhere close to his minor league plate appearances this season, that shouldn’t be a problem.
In 102 games between Double-A Harrisburg (98 games) and Triple-A Syracuse (4 games), Taylor hit 22 home runs with 63 RBI and 35 stolen bases, for an impressive .315/.401/.547 slash line.