1. Michael Taylor will supplant Denard Span.
In 110 games in the minors last season, Taylor had a season for the ages, with a .304 BA, 24 home runs, and 37 stolen bases. It is safe to say the former sixth-round pick really came into his own in his first season above the Double-A level. Taylor possesses a rare blend of speed and power. With Span recovering from abdominal surgery, the ball is in Taylor’s court. By playing well here in the first month of the season, he has the chance to prove he can bring much more to the lineup than Span.
Span has been no slouch with the Nationals the past two seasons, batting .290 with 19 triples. He has, however, hit only nine home runs. It may be a reach to say that Taylor is ready to replicate his 2014 minor league numbers at the big league level, but he is an outstanding prospect who deserves the chance to play every day in the Majors. If he plays well in Span’s absence, it will be very difficult to send him down to Triple-A.