Heading into the 2015 MLB season, the Washington Nationals expected to have Denard Span leading off playing center field, Bryce Harper playing right field and Jayson Werth manning left. Injuries to Span and Werth have left the Nationals looking at an opening day lineup with Tyler Moore in left and Michael Taylor in center. Span is out until at least May, recovering from abdominal surgery and Werth (Shoulder) is optimistic for Opening Day, but manager Matt Williams thinks different. Moore will fill in for Werth until he is 100% healthy and swinging the bat, but Taylor could find himself playing everyday to start the season, until Span returns.
Taylor just turned 24 years old and is a career .261 hitter across 5 minor league seasons. He is not going to give you Span's BA and he strikes out nearly 3x as often as he draws a walk (.335 OBP minors). In 39 ABs last season with the Nationals, he struck out 17 times, walking 3 times. However, he can hit the gaps, and has decent power, posting a 23 home run, 20 double season last year. He hit 41 doubles in 2013 and 33 in 2012. He can swipe some bases too, with 88 stolen bases over the last two seasons. I think the Nats will have no choice but to let him hit leadoff, as Yunel Escobar is their only other option.
Taylor is taking advantage of Spring Training, hitting .326 with 3 homers, 3 doubles, 2 triples and 6 RBI and scoring 10 runs.
If you have already drafted, and Taylor is available on waivers, he is worth a roster spot over that backup catcher of yours. If you are drafting this weekend, he is worth one of your last draft picks and with the injury history of Bryce Harper, Michael Taylor could find himself playing in games well past April!