Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor
28-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Washington Nationals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Taylor's 2017 power surge appears to be an outlier as not only did he fall back last season, he bottomed out. The 2017 home-run spike was a combination of a career-best 20% HR/FB mark coupled with a seven percent increase in flyball rate. Both plummeted last year. Taylor's plate skills have been stagnant since his 2015 campaign. While 2018's 30% K% and 7.5% BB% both represented marginal improvements, it was not enough to be deemed a new level. The bottom line is his approach isn't acceptable for a full-time player. Entering his age-28 season, it's unlikely Taylor makes major strides in either department, so he remains a batting-average liability. An area where Taylor did exhibit growth was on the basepaths, as he swiped 24 bags, setting a new personal best. With the return of Adam Eaton and the emergence of Victor Robles, Taylor is earmarked for reserve duty. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Nationals in February of 2019 after losing arbitration hearing.
Swipes two bases in win
OFWashington Nationals
September 29, 2019
Taylor went 2-for-2 with a run scored and two stolen bases in the Nationals' 8-2 win over the Indians on Sunday.
Taylor relieved Juan Soto in left field midway through the game and practically had a perfect day; he was flawless at the plate and took advantage on the basepaths, stealing two bags while Mike Clevinger was on the mound. The 28-year-old caps off the regular season with a .250/.305/.364 triple slash and had just one home run and three RBI in 97 plate appearances. He will serve as an option off the bench for the Nationals as they attempt to win their first World Series in franchise history.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
Since 2017vs Left .725 265 25 8 28 6 .259 .304 .421
Since 2017vs Right .723 649 86 18 56 41 .246 .305 .418
2019vs Left .778 40 4 1 3 1 .278 .333 .444
2019vs Right .593 57 6 0 0 5 .231 .286 .308
2018vs Left .616 129 13 3 12 4 .217 .266 .350
2018vs Right .659 256 33 3 16 20 .232 .298 .361
2017vs Left .849 96 8 4 13 1 .308 .344 .505
2017vs Right .794 336 47 15 40 16 .260 .313 .481
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .794 470 64 14 51 24 .279 .335 .458
Since 2017Away .650 444 47 12 33 23 .220 .272 .378
2019Home .819 58 7 1 3 6 .308 .357 .462
2019Away .453 39 3 0 0 0 .167 .231 .222
2018Home .637 195 24 2 13 8 .233 .292 .344
2018Away .652 190 22 4 15 16 .220 .282 .370
2017Home .929 217 33 11 35 10 .313 .369 .561
2017Away .684 215 22 8 18 7 .229 .271 .413
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Stat Review
How does Michael Taylor compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
91.5 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
For the third straight season, Taylor provided fantasy owners with cheap power and speed, but this time he reached new heights while playing regularly in place of Adam Eaton (knee). Taylor's swing-and-miss ways (31.8 career strikeout percentage) will limit what he can offer in terms of batting average -- he probably will struggle to top his .271 mark from last year, although he makes the most of his limited contact (34 percent hard contact rate, 20.0 percent HR/FB last season). With their optimal Opening Day lineup, the Nationals likely will want Taylor in center field. After all, he ranked sixth in the majors with a 10.1 UZR., but with Eaton returning and top prospect Victor Robles looming, Taylor will have a limited margin for error.
Strikeouts have been the story for Taylor since he broke into the league in 2014. He has struck out over 30 percent of the time in each of the last three seasons, with 32.5 percent of his 237 plate appearances in 2016 ending in a strikeout. The young outfielder also spent time with Triple-A Syracuse in 2016, where he hit just .205 in 130 plate appearances across 31 games. Taylor hit .313 over 98 games and 441 plate appearances with Double-A Harrisburg back in 2014, but he hasn't hit nearly that well since. He's a very strong defensive outfielder, however, which gives him value to the Nats, and that was one reason they kept him on the roster going into the postseason. Taylor should get another shot at a big league spot in 2017. If he can improve his average and contact rate, it would go a long way toward improving his fantasy value.
The potential for a 20/20 season will always be there with Taylor. He has plus speed, going 16-for-19 on stolen base attempts last season, and fringe average raw power, hitting 14 homers in 511 plate appearances. The lanky center fielder hit 22 home runs and stole 34 bases in 441 plate appearances at Double-A back in 2014, so his big league totals in 2015 probably represent more of a floor than a ceiling over a full season. That said, his path was blocked with the acquisition of Ben Revere in January, and he may not stick as an everyday player long-term if he cannot get on base with more consistency. His plus defense in center and toolsy profile should afford him a decent number opportunities even if he does open the year as the team's fourth outfielder, but improvements in his approach and contact skills are probably necessary for him to be seen as the long-term solution up the middle in the nation’s capital.
Just as Brian Goodwin did the year before, Taylor turned in a Double-A performance in 2014 that launched him to the top of the Nationals' position player prospect list. Unlike Goodwin, Taylor put together an actually impressive statistical season rather than one that only looked good in comparison to his previous output, hitting .313/.396/.539 with 22 home runs and 34 steals. His strikeout rate also spiked, though, and that empty air in his swing came back to haunt him in brief stops at Triple-A and the majors. Now established as the Nats' center fielder of the future, the 24-year-old will need to find a way to make more consistent contact if he wants to fully realize his five-tool potential. With Denard Span expected to miss all of April following spring core muscle repair surgery, Taylor has a chance to begin the season in a prominent role for the Nats as the team's primary center fielder, although he could end up back at Triple-A once Span is healthy if the Nats want to continue his development with everyday at-bats.
Taylor's 51 steals in 58 attempts at High-A jump off the page, but he is more than just a one-dimensional speedster. The outfielder is still rough around the edges, so how he responds to the Double-A challenge this season will provide a much better idea of how close to the majors he actually is. If some of the 41 doubles he hit last year become home runs, and some of his strikeouts become walks and singles, Taylor will leap up prospect lists in a hurry.
More Fantasy News
Hits first homer
OFWashington Nationals
September 26, 2019
Taylor went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and a double in Thursday's victory over the Phillies.
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Promoted to big leagues
OFWashington Nationals
September 3, 2019
Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Harrisburg on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
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Sent to Double-A
OFWashington Nationals
June 28, 2019
Taylor was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg on Friday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
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Playing time dwindling
OFWashington Nationals
June 28, 2019
Taylor has started only four games so far in June, going 3-for-20 with zero extra-base hits, zero walks, an RBI, two runs and two stolen bases.
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Big day off bench
OFWashington Nationals
May 27, 2019
Taylor went 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in Sunday's win over the Marlins.
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