In nineteen-aught-eight, William Howard Taft defeated William Jennings Bryant for the presidency; the 4th Olympics took place in London under the glower of crooked teeth; Cy Young pitched his 2nd no-hitter with nary an undershirt; Henry Ford called a Jewish toddler a “baby of suspicious origin;” Orville Wright laid out his plans for flight which included “a crappy bag of peanuts to all passengers and getting hit in the head by elbows as other passengers walk down the aisle,” and Leon Trotsky ate a bean and cheese burrito, getting explosive, uncontrollable diarrhea which resulted in excessive swearing and fist clenching, hence the term “the trots.” 1908 was also famous as being the last year Michael Taylor wasn’t a fantasy baseball sleeper. We’ve come a long way since then. The remarkable thing about this bit of trivia is it would lead one to believe Michael Taylor was a sleeper as early as 1909, yet he’s still only 26 years old. There’s something to be said for aging well, and being bad at math. Yes, we’ve come to the end of our fantasy baseball rookie posts and we’re onto our fantasy baseball sleepers. You’re very welcome. So, what can we expect from Michael Taylor for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
In only 399 at-bats last year, that’s only 118 games, he had 19 homers and 17 steals. I’m sorry, but this guy is a sleeper? Maybe you’re sleeping on him, because his back looks like a somewhat comfortable Ikea sofa, but why are you sleeping on him figuratively? Porque, señor y cinco señoritas? Is it because he can’t hit for average? Is that the reason? You know I’m entrapping you, right? He hit .271 last year! What bad average? Sure, his BABIP was high (.363), and he might hit only .250, but how many times do I have to say you want guys that give power and speed? His HR/FB% was a little high for him (20%), so maybe that drops down to 17%. If that happens, but he gets an extra 150 ABs, he’s still going to hit 20 HRs. Yawn, snooze, bleh? Okay, but he also stole 50 bags one year in the minors, and he’s fast. As Leon Trotsky might’ve said, “Taylor’s got the good trots. Unlike me, who has the bad trots. Explosively.” If Taylor plays an extra thirty games to put him around 150 games played, he’s easily stealing another five bases. 20/22/.250 sounds like whatever, but that’s an easy top 40 outfielder. Taylor, however, is being drafted back with the nobodies in the top 80 outfielder world. Adam Eaton will likely hit leadoff, which means Taylor might be relegated to the bottom of the order. That hurts his value, but has Eaton ever stayed healthy? I’ve heard anecdotes about it, but have we seen it? Taylor could easily go H.A.M. and move up the order if Eaton goes down again. I’m going to assume Eaton will stay healthy, but that sounds silly even as I write it. Oh, and Taylor will be the magical 27 years old in 2018. He’d be the first person ever to have a career year at 27? Rhetorical! For 2018, I’ll give Michael Taylor the projections of 62/20/70/.253/22 in 503 ABs with a chance for much more, especially on the runs and RBIs front.