Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s KC Royals Projections series for 2022. Between now and Opening Day, our writers are analyzing how various Royals performed last season and predicting how they might fare this year. Up now is Michael A. Taylor.
After a breakout 2017 season when he hit .271 with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs in 118 games, Michael A. Taylor fell into a three-season slump with Washington—he slashed .225/.284/.370 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs from 2018-2020, and the Nationals let him go to free agency after the 2020 campaign. He soon signed a one-year deal with the Royals.
How will Taylor fare in 2022?
How Baseball Reference & FanGraphs view Michael A. Taylor for the KC Royals.
Baseball Reference projects Taylor will slash .238/.297/.372 and hit 13 home runs with 51 RBIs this season.
FanGraphs (Depth Chart version) predicts Taylor will slash .235/.290/.375 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs.
What kind of season will Michael A. Taylor actually have for the KC Royals?
While the Baseball Reference and FanGraphs projections for Taylor are similar, something to note about him is that last year was his first good season since 2017. He managed to cross the 50-RBI and double-digit home run thresholds for the first time since that breakout year.
Despite his relatively low batting average, Taylor has provided speed on the basepaths and in center field. His 11 outfield assists are the most by a Royal center fielder since Melky Cabrera’s 13 in 2011.
Also important is that Taylor’s K% dropped significantly from 35.1% in 2019 to 27.3% in 2020 and 2021. His BABIP also increased from .217 in 2020 to .319 in 2021.
Taylor’s superb defense will not change a bit. However, it seems that he has already hit his peak offensively. He will likely hover around the .240 mark unless he can keep his strikeout rate down.
While Michael A. Taylor will continue to shine on defense, don’t expect much change in his offensive numbers this season.