FanPost

Is Michael Taylor ALL the way back?

We all know the problems that Michael Taylor has had since joining Oakland's organization prior to the 2010 season.  He had major expectations and didn't live up to them in his first season as a River Cat.

As a 23 year old in AAA (for the Phillies), he had an OPS of .850, with a decent  walk to strikeout ratio (13:19) in 128 plate appearances. 

As a River Cat in 2010, his OPS went down to .740.  His batting average was basically the same, but his on-base percentage and slugging percentage went way down.  In fact, he only hit 6 homeruns in 523 plate appearances.  He was 24 and people started writing him off as another top prospect that fizzled out.

Now, as a 25 year old in his second full season in AAA, his numbers are back to where they were in 2009.  In fact, they're eerily similar.

Year/Age

PA

2B

3B

HR

BB

K

AVG.

OBP.

SLG.

2009 - 23

128

6

1

5

13

19

.282

.359

.491

2011 - 25

261

11

0

12

28

52

.284

.364

.489

2009 - 23

21.3

128

25.6

9.9

6.7

2011 - 25

23.7

-

21.8

9.3

5

Clearly, Taylor's numbers have rebounded in AAA.  There were rumblings about him being sick last year and nagged by injuries, but I'm not sure what's true or not.

After looking at these numbers, the major question is this: numbers being equal, how much better is a prospect who is a 23 year old hitting well in AAA than who is a 25 year old hitting in AAA?

I don't know the answer to that question.  I'm just glad to see Taylor is putting up his old numbers again.  It's much easier to see him starting in Oakland than a year ago today.

Here is a list of some comparables that I thought of off the top of my head (it's not exhaustive).  To be on this list you had to have been hitting well in AAA at the age of 24 or 25 and contributing to a big league club right now:

  • Curtis Granderson - Minus the 3Bs and SBs he his OPS was .874 in AAA as a 24 year old.
  • Michael Cuddyer - He came up as an INF but had an OPS of .827 in AAA as a 24 year old in half a season.
  • Nelson Cruz - His OPS was .907 in AAA as a 25 year old in half a season.
  • Seth Smith - His OPS was .909 in AAA as a 25 year old.
  • Jayson Werth - His OPS was .726 in AAA as a 24 year old.

These comparisons aren't to say that Taylor will be the next Granderson, Cruz, or Werth.  I just wanted to find some examples of people who were still in AAA at age 25 and ended up being productive major league baseball players.

With the A's out of the race and Taylor's AAA numbers back to where they were in 2009, I think Taylor should get the last two months of the season to show the A's that he deserves to be on the 25 man roster next year. 

Benching DeJesus or Willingham would not be too productive because it would probably take them below Type B and Type A status respectively.  So perhaps Crisp should be traded for anything the A's can get or he should be benched.

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