Below is scouting footage of Washington Nationals top prospects, centerfielder Michael Taylor and leftfielder Destin Hood. Scouting Reports on both players will be available later this week.
Taylor had a breakout season in 2011 while playing for the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League. He stole twenty-three bags, played outstanding centerfield defense and hit .253/.310/.432. Converted from shortstop, the twenty-one year old has learned centerfield quickly and now rates as the best defensive outfielder in Washington’s farm system. He’s built long and lean, with a toolset that fits the centerfield prototype. He’s a plus runner on the base paths and in center, with loose hips and excellent body awareness. At the plate, he uses his lower body to generate solid bat speed, and should be a capable hitter in the Major Leagues. Taylor’s numbers are underwhelming at first glance, but he overcame a slow start to hit .300 with a .360 on-base percentage during the season’s final months.
Drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Hood is developing in to one of the game’s top outfield prospects. A highly touted football player in high school, Hood is a gifted athlete blessed with above-average raw power and running speed to go with a premium hand-eye coordination and body control. He might ultimately lack the polish and fluid movement for an everday job in centerfield, but he has the tools to develop in to a first-rate corner outfielder. While playing for the Potomac Nationals in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League in 2011, Hood hit .276/.364/.445 with 47 extra base hits and 21 stolen bases in 128 games. In his three-season career, Hood has collected honors as both a South Atlantic League (2010) and Carolina League (2011) All-Star, and has earned recognition from MiLB.con as a Nationals Organizational All-Star as well.