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Taylor, Giolito selected for All-Star Futures Game

Jun 24, 2014, 3:51 PM EST


Outfielder Michael A. Taylor and right-hander Lucas Giolito were selected as the Nationals’ representatives at next month’s All-Star Futures Game, confirmation of both prospects’ development and performance this season in the minor leagues.

Taylor, who plays at Class AA Harrisburg, and Giolito, who plays at low-Class A Hagerstown, were named to the U.S. team that will face a World team July 13 at Minnesota’s Target Field, two days before MLB’s All-Star Game.

The 23-year-old Taylor has been tearing up the Eastern League, hitting .333 with 17 homers, 52 RBI, 19 stolen bases and a .997 OPS in 70 games with Harrisburg. The lanky center fielder, the Nationals’ sixth-round draft pick in 2009, has already established a new career-high in home runs while raising his OPS more than 200 points over its previous high mark.

Taylor is a candidate to be promoted to Class AAA Syracuse at some point this summer, as well as a candidate to play center field for the Nationals sometime in the not-too-distant future, with club officials debating several long-term possibilities beyond this season.

Giolito, 19, will be among the youngest and least-experienced players in the Futures Game. He’s one of only two players on the U.S. roster who have yet to advance beyond low-Class A, along with Orioles pitcher Hunter Harvey.

Drafted 16th overall in the country by the Nationals in 2012 despite the knowledge he had an elbow injury, Giolito had Tommy John surgery later that summer but has come back strong in his first full season since recovering from the torn ligament. The 6-foot-6 right-hander, whose fastball has topped 100 mph, sports a 2.59 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings at Hagerstown.

  1. Zona - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Center field is getting very crowded….

  2. manassasnatsfan - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Wonder if Lucas will play some at Potomac the second half

  3. olddirtynatstard - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Hey Nats faithful, I’m headed to see Ramos, Harper, and the P-Nats tonight. I’m curious, who on the Potomac squad should I keep an eye out for? I see a couple of P-Nats on Baeball Prospectus’ top 10 Nats prospect list, anyone else? Thanks!

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      Shortstop Stephen Perez would be my choice to pay particular close attention to.

    • adcwonk - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      I can’t answer your question, but have fun! Give us a report!

  4. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Congrats to both of them.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Let’s see here. Lots of folks want to trade Span, but as of now he is entrenched in centerfield. Harper has made it clear that he wants to play centerfield. Michael Taylor is looking more and more like he’s a force to be reckoned with, and centerfield is his position. Brian Goodwin is at best, disappointing,at this stage.McLouth has a set contract for next year. Does Hairston, I can’t remember? I am thinking he got a 2 year deal when Rizzo signed him. Zimmerman plays a passable left field. Werth is getting long in the tooth, but still plays an expensive right field. I don’t know, maybe Denard is going to be the odd man out, and maybe sooner rather than later. The question is, who would be traded to? And for who? Rizzo didn’t exactly get him for a bucket of balls.

    • adcwonk - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Good questions. FWIW, however, Hairston is only signed for this year.

      Span was a one-up trade with Alex Myers. He has a $500K buy out next year, or a $9M option. It sure looks like Span is odd-man out for next year.

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 24, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      IF the Nats choose not to renew ALR next season I wouldn’t be surprised if Werth and not Zimmerman ends up at first base. Should this happen I would expect to see Harper move to RF with Zim permanently in LF and a CF to be determined.

      Lots of moving pieces to think about but first they need to win this season. GYFNG!

  6. therealjohnc - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Taylor is going to be tough to promote to AAA, not because he does not merit it, but because he has no place to play there. Souza is crushing AAA right now, is probably the International League MVP. Even though Goodwin is only hitting .219, his OBP is .351 and the team isn’t going to demote him. And Destin Hood is in the third OF spot, and he’s put himself back on the map with a .854 OPS in AAA. Even with Hood out with an injury at the moment, the organization has been trying to get Walters occasional OF starts to keep those skills sharp – just in case.

    If the team needs Taylor they can call him up directly from AA. Unless injuries clear a space in Syracuse, Taylor isn’t going anywhere for now.

    • karlkolchak - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      Hood will likely be the odd man out. He’ll be a minor league FA after this year unless they place him on the 40-man roster, which is unlikely as they won’t have the room. Fact is, even with his big improvement this year Hood still isn’t hitting many home runs or stealing many bases. They aren’t going to hold up Taylor’s development on behalf of a guy who even now barely looks like he has enough game to eventually become a 4th outfielder.





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