After extra work, Taylor gets first knock of spring

PHOENIX -- Though still in the early goings of camp, Michael Taylor's struggles at the plate had become apparent.

So the A's outfielder, hitless in his first 10 spring at-bats, stayed back at the club's facilities on Thursday to clock in hours of work with hitting coach Chili Davis, rather than taking the bus to Mesa, Ariz., for a chance to come off the bench against the Cubs.

Turns out that decision was a good one. Taylor and Davis "found some things," manager Bob Melvin said, and on Friday against the Giants, Taylor collected his first hit of the spring.

"He hasn't been swinging the bat like he'd like, and he's been getting quite the opportunity to play a bit," Melvin said. "He's been behind the fastball, ahead of the breaking ball a little bit, taking the strikes and swinging at the balls. That's what happens when you're in between."

Taylor, the A's No. 12 prospect, is 27 years old. He has 654 Minor League games under his belt, next to just 17 big league appearances that have resulted in a .176 batting average. Making a good impression in the final weeks of camp, needless to say, is imperative for Taylor, who will likely again begin the year at Triple-A Sacramento.

He's done so each of the past three years.

"We've got a lot of spring left, and there's a lot of time for him to find his stroke and move forward," Melvin said. "Last year, he didn't get the opportunity he would've liked when he was here. He wants to knock the door down the next time he's at the big league level and stay."