Its been several years since I have been this excited about an Athletics prospect. While Philidelphia fans were celebrating the arrival of one Cy Young, and the departure of another prospectors like myself were shaking are heads at the genius that is Billy Beane.
Brett Wallace? Are you kidding me?
Michael Taylor was taken in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, he steadily worked his way through the Philadelphia farm system and was on the cusp of a big league call-up. Looking for a comparison, you fantasy shoppers? Think a sleek Frank Thomas. I know, a tough image to visualize.
The take-home point is this: Taylor is massive, but can move on the bases and in the field. His rise through the Phillies system is marked by nothing but success. In his 2008 stops at Low-A Lakewood and High-A Clearwater, Taylor batted .346, ripped 39 doubles, clobbered 19 homers, and swiped 15 stolen bases. He pretty much spent the first half of the 2009 season at Double-A Reading. As the Eastern League’s Player of the Month in June, he had a .369 BA with eight doubles, five homers and 19 RBIs.
Based on his stellar first half performance, the 24-year-old Taylor was named to the Eastern League All-Star game before his mid-season promotion to Triple-A. Continuing to rack up the awards, he was named Eastern League (Double-A) Rookie of the Year. Further, Taylor was chosen by Baseball America as being the “Best Batting Prospect” and the “Most Exciting Player” in the same league.
Taylor’s blend of speed and power is scary good. Though hampered by an abdominal strain that left him on Lehigh Valley’s disabled list for a bit, Taylor batted .320 for the season and became the first IronPig to hit for the cycle. This speedy mass of humanity also slugged 20 home runs, stole 21 bases, and drove in 84 runs, all in just 116 games.
Great minor league numbers, but how will that translate into the majors? Although Taylor will not be a 40 home run hitter, he will be a well-rounded player that hits for average and pop. The ball jumps off his bat and he drives the ball from gap to gap. Taylor’s speed allows him to grab extra bases and score additional runs.
Did I also mention that he is very intelligent, and most importantly interacts exceptionally well with fans. You can always find Taylor sticking around after games chatting with fans, and signing autographs. His mix of superstar mentality, and appreciation for the fans is very rare at such a young age, or any age for that matter.
Right now is a good time to pick up Taylors R.C's, because he is on the verge of breaking the bigs, and you can still get them relativity cheap. You can pick up his 2007 Bowman R.C's from $3-5 on the open market, or you can try your luck on a box of 07 Chrome $50-60, and give a shot at a Lincecum while your at it.
The Mojo Hand