Michael A. Taylor has now made his mark in both the National League and the American League.
After winning a World Series with the Washington Nationals in 2019, Taylor won an AL Gold Glove this past weekend for his play in center field for the Kansas City Royals. He led all CFs in the majors with 19 runs saved and 15 outs above average, per Statcast. He also tallied a career high with 11 outfield assists.
Here is the full list of Gold Glove winners for the 2021 season:
It’s Taylor’s first Gold Glove award. He had been nominated for the honor in the past, when he and fellow Washington National Anthony Rendon were up for the award in 2017.
“It’s definitely an honor,” Taylor said to reporters on Monday. “There’s so many great defenders out there, and to be recognized as one of the best this year, it’s an honor and just a great feeling. I worked really hard on my defense, and it paid off a little bit this year.”
Taylor wasn’t the only Royals’ outfielder to be recognized for his defensive prowess. Left fielder Andrew Benintendi took home a Gold Glove as well, making the outfield duo the first in franchise history to take home the award in the same season.
Kansas City acquired Taylor this past offseason after the center fielder spent seven years as a National. Washington often depended on Taylor’s defense in the outfield even when his bat went cold.
Those efforts paid off in 2019, when Taylor caught the series-ending pop fly in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Weeks later, he would hoist the World Series trophy.
Kansas City was so impressed with Taylor’s first season with the franchise that they inked the 30-year-old to a two-year, $9 million extension in September. Taylor hit .244 with 54 RBIs and 12 home runs -- including a 402-foot bomb in his first game with the team -- in 142 games this season.