The Washington Nationals have dealt with injuries for a good part of the beginning of the season, especially to their outfield. Denard Span and Jayson Werth began the season on the disabled list, causing the Nationals to bring up top prospect Michael Taylor.
Taylor was rated the 32nd best prospect by Baseball America for 2015. The 24-year-old became an everyday starter for Washington with the injuries to Werth and Span. However, with both recently back, Taylor’s role has been diminished, and he has largely been kept riding the pine. He has appeared in 22 games, hitting .257 with two home runs and four doubles.
But are the Nationals slowing his development by keeping him with the big league roster? Right now there is no room for Taylor in the outfield. The only place for him is to come off the bench as a fourth outfielder. Taylor has only 11 at-bats in his past six games, getting only two hits.
There is no reason for Taylor to be up in the big leagues right now. The Nationals have other options to be their fourth outfielder. Taylor is one of the organizations few prized young prospects, but with Werth and Span blocking a starting spot for him, it seems premature to have him sit the bench.
What Washington needs to do, is let Taylor play everyday. Whether that be in the minors or majors, Taylor deserves and needs to be in the starting lineup everyday in order to continue his development and stay fresh. Span’s contract runs out after this season, opening the door for Taylor to be Washington’s starting center fielder in 2016. However, right now Taylor needs to be in Triple-A playing everyday.