JACOB TAYLOR, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: July 5, 1995
Drafted: 4th Round, 127th Overall, 2015
How Acquired: Draft
College: Pearl River CC (MS)
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|Taylor split his 2014 season between the outfield and the mound. As a pitcher, he produced a high strikeout rate and otherwise average results. In 2015, he concentrated on pitching and took a step forward as a prospect. He can hit 97 MPH with his fastball and sits in the 93-94 range. His secondary stuff needs polish, but he is new to pitching full time, so that is to be expected. Taylor has a sound delivery with a good downhill plane. His command needs improvement. For a player with two years in college, he is both young and very projectable. He profiles as a starter in the pros, but he will take time to develop. Baseball America had him ranked 97th overall in their top 500. With a commitment to LSU, he appeared potentially difficult to sign, but the Pirates got him locked up shortly after the draft.
The Pirates sent Taylor to the GCL rather than Bristol, possibly indicating that they considered him something of a project. After one outing, though, he had Tommy John surgery, ending his season.
Taylor finally returned in August, getting into four games. He gradually improved over those games, failing to retire anybody in the first game and allowing just one earned run in four innings in the last. He had some control problems, which isn’t too surprising. The Pirates promoted him to Morgantown to make a start on the last day of the New York-Penn League season, but that didn’t go well.
Pitching mostly out of the Bristol rotation, Taylor stayed healthy but had a very rough season. He struggled to get the ball over the plate and got hit hard when he did. Opponents torched him for a 329/422/553 line. He actually pitched fairly well in his first two starts, but he had an opponents’ OPS over 1.000 in both July and August. Left-handed batters posted a 404/500/754 line against him, although he wasn’t very effective against right-handed hitters. After nine starts, the Pirates moved Taylor to relief for his last three games. His velocity was only in the 87-90 mph range, so it’s possible he’ll be one of the minority of Tommy John patients who doesn’t get his velocity back.
It’s possible the Pirates could move Taylor permanently to relief. Despite the 2017 struggles, they’ll try him at West Virginia in 2018.
|2018: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $500,000
MiLB Debut: 2015
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2018
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 9, 2015: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round, 127th overall pick; signed on June 18.|