A single in his first major league at bat probably would have been enough to make it a good night for Washington Nationals' outfielder Michael Taylor.
The 23-year-old, 2009 6th Round pick made his MLB debut for the Nats last night in New York's Citi Field.
After singling in his first MLB AB, taking an 0-2 fastball from 23-year-old Mets' pitcher Rafael Montero back up the middle of the infield, Taylor grounded out to third the second time up in the fourth, then with Wilson Ramos on base in front of him in the sixth, Taylor got hold of a 93 mph, 2-1 fastball from NY reliever Carlos Torres and sent it out the other way for an opposite field blast.
Taylor's first major league bomb was the third home run of a five-run inning that blew the series opener with the Mets wide open.
"It's fantastic," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said after the Nationals' 7-1 win when asked about Taylor's big night.
Did y'all expect anything different from @Taylor_Michael3 ... He does on a day to day basis— Kevin Keyes (@KevinJKeyes) August 13, 2014
"He's worked really hard. He's taken all the extra BP and worked his way to get here and it's gratifying for everybody. The bench was really excited on the first base hit and then the homer they were even more excited. So, great for the kid and certainly a memory he'll remember forever."
Williams, who debuted in the majors in 1987 and has been involved with Major League Baseball since, has seen plenty of debuts and firsts, but he said it never gets old.
"Because everybody," he explained, "since the time they were yay-big, wants to be here and wants to experience something like this and then to have a good game your first game is icing on the cake for everybody, so we're proud of him."
The outing against the Mets was just the start of his major league career, but it was the culmination of a process that started when the Nationals drafted Taylor and really picked up at Double-A Harrisburg this season where he put up a .313/.396/.539 line with 17 doubles, 22 HRs and 34 stolen bases in 98 games and 441 plate appearances before he was promoted for a brief stay at Triple-A and then called up to join the Nationals.
"He's played really well all year,' Williams said. "The thing we're worried about is getting him enough at bats so he stays in his rhythm and his timing. Ordinarily, without Jayson [Werth] being out today, he might not get a chance to be in there. So, it's nice to see. He's a really good player with a lot of upside. So, good first night."
Doug Fister too, who threw seven scoreless on the mound against the Nationals' NL East rivals, was impressed with what Taylor was able to accomplish in his first major league game.
"Tonight was one of those things that we got to see the young guy, Michael Taylor, come out show what he can do and he's proven it and that's a great night for him," Fister told reporters in New York.
"We applaud the hard work he's [done] and the success he had tonight."
I think I just took my first breathe since 7:10. #GodisGreat— Michael A Taylor (@Taylor_Michael3) August 13, 2014