High Single-A Potomac Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor again made positive strides this season, improving his approach and refining his defense to post impressive numbers for the Carolina League's Northern Division champions.
Potomac hitting coach Mark Harris told me early in the season that Taylor had calmed down his approach at the plate and had focused on one thing while up at-bat, and that helped him get into a consistent rhythm.
Taylor hit .263 in 133 games, with 41 doubles, six triples, 10 homers and 87 RBIs. He had 51 stolen bases and was caught only seven times. His on-base percentage was .340 and slugging percentage was .426.
He finished strong, going 11-for-24 (.440) in his final eight games, with five doubles, one homer, eight stolen bases and five RBIs.
Potomac manager Brian Daubach said Taylor has taken steps to work on every aspect of his game and was a big part of the team's consistency in winning the first- and second-half titles in the Carolina League.
"I think Michael Taylor has come a long way defensively, nobody is playing better than him in center field," Daubach said. "He is gaining a lot of confidence on the bases as well. I think he is gradually getting comfortable in his approach at the plate. I am excited what is ahead for him to."
Taylor has always been known as the captain of the outfield, a very smart kid who helps direct defensive positioning and does a great job backing up his teammates. Taylor has a good shot to move up to Double-A next season.
Taylor is at fall instructional league in Viera, Fla., this month alongside outfielders Isaac Ballou, Rafael Bautista, Billy Burns, Randy Encarnacion, Destin Hood, Hayden Jennings and Braandon Miller.
Programming note: Catch my take on the Nationals and their minor league system tonight on 106.7 The Fan's "Washington Baseball Tonight" with host Pete Medhurst tonight at 7:15 p.m.