The Michael Taylor the Nationals saw on Saturday afternoon in their win over the Marlins was the version they probably expected to see through the first month of the season, when he unexpectedly struggled after tearing through spring training with an average over .400.
It was just one outing, but Taylor showed exactly how many ways he can affect a game. He matched a career-high by reaching base four times, including two walks. He stole two bases, scored a run and also made a running grab in center field to end the second inning.
Few players on the Nationals have the versatility Taylor can provide and that was on full display in the 6-4 victory.
"This is what we had hoped to see from Michael," manager Dusty Baker said. "Michael Taylor, I mean he's a talent big-time. That's why we held on to him because we know potential he has and how he can do more things to win a game than just hitting... he had a good game today."
"He's a great player," starter Stephen Strasburg said. "I think he's young and he's still kind of figuring things out, but the sky is the limit for him."
Taylor made his 24th start of the season in 29 total games. Even after landing two hits - including a double - on Sunday, Taylor is batting just .198/.244/.315.
Finding a way to stay productive without consistent playing time is not easy, but Taylor feels good about how he's swinging the bat at the moment.
"My routine hasn't changed. I come in every day and get my work in the cage to prepare for the game," he said. "For me, I don't want to get out there and be overly aggressive coming off the bench. I think that's easy to do in a situation like that when you're not getting a ton of at-bats. I wanted to go up there and just be patient and try to wait for my pitch."
With Ben Revere healthy and both Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper in store, playing time could be few and far between for Taylor. He will need to maximize his limited opportunities, just as he did on Saturday.