Friday, October 23, 2020

Michael A Taylor: The Best Nationals Hitter in the Postseason

With Michael A. Taylor becoming a Free Agent, we take a look at his postseason successes.

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If we told you that Michael A. Taylor had the following career postseason stats: a batting average of .316, OPS of 1.027, four home-runs, 12 hits, 10 RBI’s, you would laugh at us. 

However, it is accurate, so we think that Michael A. Taylor is one of the greatest postseason hitters for the Nationals franchise. Before we take a closer look at Michael A. Taylor’s postseason success, we will look at Michael Taylor’s non-postseason career. 

Michael Taylor didn’t make his major league debut until August 12, 2014, at age 23, when Washington Nationals played against the New York Mets. Taylor had four at-bats in that game, which resulted in 2 hits, one home run, and 2 RBI’s, which isn’t a wrong way to kick off your MLB career. 

Over his time with the Washington Nationals, Taylor has become a top-tier defender with ongoing contact issues when he is at the plate. Taylor is considered one of the best defensive outfielders in major league baseball.

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So, let’s get to down to take a look at his postseason stats.

2017 Postseason: The Series that Set Taylor Apart

In 2017, when the Washington Nationals made the postseason and played against the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS, Michael Taylor, on all accounts, had a pretty good series. He had 15 at-bats and slugged two home runs, eight RBI’s, five hits, and three runs, which gave him a batting average of .333. 

To provide you with a bit of perspective, in that same series, then Washington Nationals player Bryce Harper‘s batting average was only .211, and Harper had only three RBI’s and one home run, and four hits. We will let that sink in for a bit. Additionally, during that series, Ryan Zimmerman had a batting average of .150, 4 RBI’s, 1 Homerun, and a total of three hits. 

Taylor’s stats were extremely impressive during that postseason, and that series made him a valuable player in the postseason.

2019 Postseason & Wild Card Game

During the majority of the 2019 season, Taylor played in nearby Harrisburg, PA. Taylor was called up to the Nationals when rosters expanded in September so that Davey Martinez would have the ability to swap Taylor in for defensive purposes. Still, his most significant contribution to the 2019 Postseason run has to be Taylor getting hit by a pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning during the NL Wild Card Game. Milwaukee then challenged the ruling of a hit-by-pitch. After review, the Replay Official did not see clear and convincing evidence to overturn the call and ruled ‘stands.’

If that were ruled a foul ball, the bases still would have been empty for Josh Hader. Following Taylor’s one-out hit By a Pitch, Trea Turner struck out swinging. However, with two out, Ryan Zimmerman came through with a pinch-hit single. Anthony Rendon then walked to load the bases. Taylor would come around and score one of the runs after Juan Soto singled on a fielding error from Trent Grisham.

Taylor’s play during the Wild Card Game was memorable; one can’t forget the nice diving catch out in centerfield, which barely missed the ground which closed out the Nationals winning their first NLDS series against the LA Dodgers. That hit came off Justin Turner’s bat at 70 mph with a launch angle of 34 degrees.

Taylor turned in an outstanding postseason performance and was rewarded with a World Series Ring at the end of it all.

Talyor was 1-for-1 with a solo home run in the 2019 World Series.

Postseason with the Nationals

In his six postseason series with the Washington Nationals, Taylor has played in a total of 16 games, 43 Plate appearances, four home runs, and a total of 10 RBI’s. 

At times Michael A Taylor has been two different players, one player during the regular season and another during the postseason. Michael Taylor was a great player and always a calming presence on and off the field.

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