The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Tyrone Taylor in the 2nd round of the MLB Draft a decade ago. It was a long, slow process for Taylor to work his way up to the big leagues, but he finally did so in September 2019. He was solid in that cup of coffee and put himself on the radar for 2022.
Taylor also only got a little bit of run in the shortened 2020 season, even after Lorenzo Cain opted out, playing in just 22 games, but posting a 107 OPS+.
In 2021, Taylor showed up looking strong in spring training, and Craig Counsell said by the end of camp that he is a big leaguer. That Taylor has taken the steps necessary and he’s ready to stay in the big leagues. The Brewers had a number of other options including Billy McKinney and Derek Fisher in camp, but Taylor beat them all out. Jackie Bradley Jr. was added late to the roster mix as well.
As the season got underway, it became clear that Tyrone Taylor was the 5th outfielder on the roster. He went up and down a couple of times but each time he got the chance, he hit the ball well. He ended up sticking on the roster in the second half and played in 93 games, hitting .247 with 12 home runs and a 106 OPS+.
If given the chance to play nearly everyday, Taylor could likely put up good numbers. But he just hasn’t been given much of a chance, so we don’t truly know. The Brewers don’t appear willing to ever give him that chance.
Tyrone Taylor continues to be unable to catch a break and get a chance for regular playing time with the Brewers.
After the 2021 season, Avisail Garcia departed for Miami in free agency. Taylor was in line to be the regular starter in right field for a bit. Then JBJ was traded to Boston, and Hunter Renfroe came to town. Now Renfroe is the starter in right and Taylor was pushed to the 4th outfielder role.
Still, the 4th outfielder job wouldn’t be bad, and it would be a step up for Taylor from being the 5th outfielder the year before. Lorenzo Cain would need regular rest and Taylor was going to see a lot more playing time in 2022.
But then, the Brewers come out and sign Andrew McCutchen, another veteran outfielder. While McCutchen is likely to see a bunch of time at DH, the Brewers are going to rotate through a number of players at that position, such as someone like Christian Yelich. Now, instead of filling left field with Taylor when Yelich is DHing, McCutchen is there to take a bunch of those innings.
Yes, the Brewers needed to add another bat, but adding a 1B/DH type would not take chances away from Taylor like signing an OF/DH like McCutchen does.
The McCutchen signing makes the Brewers better, no doubt about it. It improves the quality and the depth of their lineup. But, Tyrone Taylor gets hosed out of an opportunity to continue to prove himself at the big league level, and to take the next step in his career. He’s not even getting a true opportunity to take that step.
Granted, it’s understandable that the Brewers wouldn’t be willing to throw Taylor into a starting role right now. I’m not arguing that. But he’s shown that he should be more than just a 5th outfielder and he’s seemingly not going to get that opportunity in Milwaukee.
But, now Tyrone Taylor is out of minor league options. He has to stay on the big league roster all season or else he gets placed on waivers. Would the Brewers be willing to lose him for nothing? Would they trade him instead? It’s possible, but how much would he bring back? With a number of other free agent options out there, why would another team trade for Taylor right now?
Tyrone Taylor just cannot catch a break. He does all the things the Brewers have asked of him, but he’s being denied the opportunities to grow in his career. I’m not saying he should be an everyday starter somewhere right now, but he deserves an opportunity to play more than he’s going to get the opportunity to this year.
In the future, you have Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, Sal Frelick and other top outfield prospects shooting up the minor league system quickly and they could seize opportunities and Taylor may never get his true chance in Milwaukee.
There’s a chance there’s still more moves coming from the Brewers this spring, and perhaps Taylor will be included among them if there is a trade.