Leadoff hitters are supposed to be the ones to get on base and make things happen with their legs, setting the table for the run producers behind him.
Nationals outfield prospect Michael Taylor on Sunday decided to play both roles, catalyst and bopper, for the Harrisburg Senators in the Double-A Eastern League.
Ranked No. 4 on the Nationals' Top 20 Prospects list, Taylor hit three home runs from the leadoff spot, scoring and driving in four runs apiece in a 10-7 win over the Bowie Baysox (Orioles).
Taylor started his one-man assault in his first at-bat, leading off the bottom of the first with a solo shot off of Tim Berry, No. 8 on the Orioles' Top 20. But he was far from done.
The center fielder homered off of Berry again in the third, this time with a man on. That kicked off a five-run inning for Harrisburg. After walking and scoring in the fourth, Taylor added his third long ball of the game in the sixth, against reliever Steve Hensley.
Taylor now has five home runs on the season. The toolsy outfielder selected by the Nationals out of high school in the sixth round of the 2009 Draft has a career high of 13 homers, which was set in 2011 when he was playing in the Class A South Atlantic League.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter.