Outfielder Michael Taylor crushed a batting practice home run in Frederick that hit high off of the left field video scoreboard. That was the start of something for Taylor.
In that game, Taylor went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double and an RBI. He has had four straight games of at least two hits.
When I spoke to high Single-A Potomac Nationals hitting coach Mark Harris prior to Taylor’s hot streak, they were working on his approach and getting him to find the setup at the plate that would work for him every single at-bat.
“For me as a hitting coach, it is not where we are right now. It is where we are going to end up,” Harris said. “I want to see day-to-day progress, day-to-day mental progress, the day-to-day mechanical process. The goal of any hitting coach in the low minors is to develop an approach that is going to work in the big leagues. You basically try to teach what is going to work all the way through.”
And that appears to be what is bearing fruit now for Taylor. He is taking the focus of his approach to heart and it is clicking.
“He is doing fine,” Harris said last week. “I keep talking about adjustments. Mike is working on being consistent, up at the top of the league in RBIs, with four home runs.
“He is getting pitches to hit. We are working on some mechanical things. We are trying to get him shortened up and a little more balanced as far as his stride. He is making progress.”
Taylor is batting .351 in his last 10 games with 13 hits.
Last night, though, Taylor left the game after pulling up lame running to first base. He was replaced by J.R. Higley. I am told Taylor is OK, but most likely he will get day of rest today. Billy Burns is taking batting practice.
Harris said another outfielder in the system did the same thing last season after struggling a bit.
“The best example was Steven Souza Jr., who played for us last year in Hagerstown. He has really developed an approach that works,” Harris said.
Souza just returned from a shoulder injury that had kept him out of the lineup for over a month.
Souza is 3-for-8 in his first two games back and is hitting .371 for Double-A Harrisburg.