Mariners Analysis: Handicapping the M’s Demotion Candidates (Poll)
May 21, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Chris Taylor (1) throws the ball to first base in the first inning over Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado (13) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Taylor – SS
Mariners’ fans have an unnatural amount of love for Chris Taylor, but he may be the most logical choice to send down to Tacoma this week. Taylor was only recalled from AAA on May 4, but he has looked overmatched in every way at the big league level this season.
The University of Virginia alum is hitting a measly .159 with 0 home runs and 1 RBI across 20 games in 2015. He has posted a .221 on base percentage and a .206 slugging percentage. He has stolen a pair of bases, but he has struck out 19 times in 63 at bats. He is determined to hit his first career home run, and continuously turns in poor at bats resulting in weak pop outs.
Taylor has been billed as a defensive wizard at shortstop, but his performance has been less than magical this season. Taylor has a respectable .974 fielding percentage, but his 3.85 range factor per 9 innings is well below the league average of 4.06. He also scores a -2 in defensive runs saved. For comparison’s sake, Brad Miller has a .974 fielding percentage, a 4.51 range factor per 9 innings, and he has saved 3 runs in 2015.
Chris Taylor posted an impressive .287/.347/.346 slash line across 136 at bats in his rookie campaign last season. These numbers indicate Taylor is a plus hitter, but a closer look at the number suggest otherwise. He sported a .398 batting average on balls in play last year. This is a very high number, and leads one to believe that he was just finding the holes in 2014. However, they always say it is better to be lucky than good.
Taylor is the only name on this list that has minor league options remaining. Demoting Taylor would create the least waves in the Mariners’ clubhouse. When you take his lack of production into consideration, the decision becomes clear.
I think we will see Taylor get another look in Seattle before long, but look for the 24-year-old to be sent down to Tacoma on Tuesday.