Quality outfield depth was labeled as a strength for the Brewers entering the 2021 season. Headlined by superstar Christian Yelich but also including Avisail Garcia, Lorenzo Cain, and Jackie Bradley Jr, this outfield quad was supposed to be one of the best and deepest among the Major Leagues this season.
Additionally in the mix was former Brewers outfielder Billy McKinney. As a player who was out of minor league options, McKinney had a few big moments for the Brewers early on in the season. His versatility to play first base was initially a valuable piece to this team as well.
Unfortunately the Brewers outfield group has not quite lived up to all the hype, at least not yet. A lingering low back issue sidelined Christian Yelich for quite some time, Lorenzo Cain is back on the IL, Jackie Bradley Jr. hasn’t lived up to expectations, and the Brewers have since moved on from Billy McKinney.
With Cain again sidelined and JBJ coming off a horrific month of May, the Brewers called Tyrone Taylor back up to the big leagues.
With his play, Taylor is now not only making a play at remaining the Brewers 5th outfielder, but maybe even eating into Jackie Bradley Jr.’s and Lorenzo Cain’s playing time once he returns.
Despite reporting to spring training in the best shape of his life, Taylor did not make the big league roster out of camp. He since has had a few different stints with the big league club in 2021 and in between those stints he spent time at the alternative training site and Triple AAA Nashville.
Although he has only played in four minor league games, Taylor hit three home runs, two doubles, and eight RBIs. He additionally has six home runs with the Brewers. This makes a grand total of nine home runs in 102 at bats. Had minor league baseball began on time, his home run total likely would be higher.
We saw this with Keston Hiura mashing a ton of home runs between the minor league and major league levels in 2019. Can Tyrone Taylor find success with more playing time?
As a very well established minor league player, including 785 games played and 3,220 plate appearances over eight seasons, Taylor looks ready to make a big impact. Since being promoted to the big leagues again on June 1st, 2021, Taylor has hit three home runs in four games that includes his first ever multi-homer game.
The early returns of his increased physique and power at the plate is hard to ignore. He is playing with a ton of confidence and at this rate one does have to wonder how high is ceiling is. Hopefully it is not similar to Billy McKinney who fizzled out after a few good first weeks, but regardless a bigger role should be in his future.
Could Taylor actually be a starting outfielder at the big league level? Cracking that group with Yelich, Cain, and JBJ under contract through 2022 and Avisail Garcia potentially also under contract through 2022 will be extremely difficult, especially given their salaries.
At the absolute worst, it appears Taylor will be a very capable fourth outfielder. But his ceiling looks to be that of a starting quality player. The only way to tell is to give him regular playing time at the big league level for an extended period of time, which he might not get in Milwaukee anytime soon.
Only time will tell how well Tyrone Taylor continues to perform. Playing time amongst this outfield is hard to earn, but at least for the short term one has to think that manager Craig Counsell will start to use Taylor more often.