Michael A. Taylor, at Dusty Baker’s urging, made the most of his opportunity in center field this season, taking over for the injured Adam Eaton, and excelling, after dealing with injury issues himself. Taylor, 26, had been given opportunities before and he had struggled, but this season he impressed at the plate and in center, and this afternoon, he was named a finalist for the NL Gold Glove award in center field.
Taylor posted a .271/.320/.486 line with 23 doubles and 19 home runs over 118 games and 432 plate appearances, putting up 105 wRC+ and finishing the 2017 campaign at 3.1 fWAR.
Defensively, he put up a .985 fld%, with eight outfield assists (tied for second in the NL, behind the Reds’ Billy Hamilton), nine DRS (Defensive Runs Saved), which were good for second in the NL (behind only New York Mets’ outfielder Juan Lagares, 15 DRS) and a 10.0 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) in center field (2nd highest in the NL, behind Lagares, 10.4 UZR).
Taylor, Lagares, and Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Ender Inciarte are the three finalists in center field.
Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon is a Gold Glove finalist as well, for the second consecutive season.
Rendon, 27, put up a .301/.403/.533 line with 41 doubles, 25 home runs, and 142 wRC+ over 147 games and 605 PAs, finishing the season at 6.9 fWAR.
Defensively, the Nationals’ 2011 1st Round pick put up a .979 fld% (tied with Arenado for first among qualified NL third basemen), seven Defensive Runs Save (3rd in the NL behind the St. Louis Cardinals’ Jedd Gyorko, 16 DRS, and Arenado’s NL-leading 20 DRS), and finished the season with an NL-best among third basemen 13.6 UZR.
The winners of this year’s Gold Gloves will be announced on November 7th.