According to a report by CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman tonight, the Washington Nationals are expected to call 23-year-old outfield prospect Michael Taylor up to join the Nats in Atlanta in time for the series finale with the Braves tomorrow night in Turner Field.
Zuckerman spoke to "a source familiar with the decision" who told him that, "Taylor was a late scratch from Class AAA Syracuse’s lineup Saturday evening and was due to depart for Atlanta."
It was unclear, however, who Taylor will be replacing on the Nationals' roster. Jayson Werth was a late scratch tonight after sitting out the series opener in Atlanta with lingering shoulder and ankle injuries.
Steven Souza, Jr., who was called back up to the majors this week when Nate McLouth was placed on the DL with a right shoulder issue, ran into the right field fence in Turner Field chasing a home run Friday night, though reports before today's game said he was available off of the bench:
Steven Souza (shoulder) feels better today but not sure if he's ready to be available off the bench. Passed concussions tests again today.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) August 9, 2014
Taylor was just promoted to the Nationals' top minor league affiliate this week.
In four games with Syracuse, the 2009 Nats' 6th Round pick out of Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, FL was 5 for 13 with three doubles, a triple, four walks and two Ks.
In 98 games and 441 plate appearances at Double-A Harrisburg before the promotion, he put up a .313/.396/.539 line with 17 doubles, 22 HRs and 34 stolen bases. He also represented the Nationals at the All-Star Futures Game last month.
The Nationals added Taylor to the 40-Man roster this winter, so Nats' skipper Matt Williams got a good look at the outfielder in Spring Training and came away impressed.
"He is, I think, really unique in that he is a -- if you were putting scouting numbers on him -- he is an 80 defender," Williams told reporters. "He throws very well. He's in the process of learning himself and his own swing and he would be a guy that is potentially on the fast track.
"Now, of course, there are a lot of variables there and a lot of things that could sideline that track sometimes, slumps and things like that, but all the tools are there, those tools are certainly present for all us to see at this point."
A breakout season in the Nationals' system, after a strong campaign at High-A Potomac in 2013 in which he put up a .263/.340/.426 line with 41 doubles, 10 HRs and 51 stolen bases, has apparently earned Taylor a chance to show what he can do at the major league level.