Brayden Taylor 3B TCU
Taylor reminds me a lot of Josh Jung when he was coming out of Texas Tech. The fact that he’s a third baseman rather than a shortstop hurts his draft stock because teams want the up-the-middle player. That being said, Taylor has produced at his highest levels in the biggest moments.
"He had a low BABIP this year of just .307, inconsistent with how hard he hits the ball and how often he does so. He also slumped in the middle of the season, but had a huge Big 12 tournament, going 8 for 16 with four doubles and three homers, with a .305/.430/.650 line heading into the regionals, and a career-best 21 homers."- Keith Law
Having a guy that turns it on in the playoffs is something you love to see. Would I have loved to see him hit for the entire season? Yes. But baseball is a game of inches and more than that it’s a game of luck and when you get BABIP’d to death the way he was during the season you have to know that a bounceback is coming.
He may have sold out for his power a little bit this year posting a career low in batting average and OBP but a career-high in slugging and OPS, but it worked. He hit 23 homers this season, almost as many as his previous two seasons combined (25) and he still managed to walk (53) almost as often as he struck out (58). He doesn’t have incredible speed but he does take advantage with his baserunning ability as he hasn’t been caught stealing since his freshman season and has gone 38-for-39 in his attempts for his career.
In Jim Bowden’s breakdown of his top 25 players in the draft he said:
"He profiles as a future .290 hitter with 40 doubles and 25 home run power. There is not a lot of risk with this pick: He has a high floor and an All-Star-type ceiling."- Jim Bowden
Finally, Fangraphs took a deeper look at him as a defender as they didn’t love the bat as much as Bowden or Law and said:
"He's a very rangy defender with a plus arm, and as long as he's getting to most of his power, he can have a 40-grade hit tool and still be an important big league contributor, if not an everyday third baseman."- Fangraphs
I wouldn’t be upset if this were the pick. Taylor has good baserunning ability, and defensive capabilities that have scouts saying he could be a less-than-mediocre hitter and still be an everyday player at an important defensive position, and other scouts love his bat enough to slap All-Star caliber numbers on it. Not bad.