Player: Blake Taylor
Drafted by: Pittsburgh Pirates (No. 51 Overall)
Height/Weight: 6’3”/195 lbs
School: Dana Hills High School (Calif.)
Previously Drafted: N/A
Hailing from the same high school that produced 2010 supplemental first-rounder Peter Tago, Blake Taylor has made quite a name for himself heading into the 2013 draft. Possessing a low- to mid-90s fastball and a potential plus breaking ball, he's positioned to go somewhere in the second- to third-round range.
He has a commitment to Hawaii in his back pocket, and considering he doesn't have much polish to speak of outside of his heater, he will likely seriously consider heading to Hilo in the hopes that he can make a run at the first round in 2016.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Simple left-handed delivery; not too many moving parts; repeats his delivery well; lithe, athletic frame; throws easy mid-90s heat; a good athlete who has spent some time in the infield during his high school career; good footwork fielding his position; spins a good curveball; consistent throwing motion on each of his offerings.
Great fastball velocity; clocked in the 89-93 mph range; can dial it up to 95-96 mph when he needs to; velocity complemented by good movement on the pitch; pitch usually has sinking action; has good control of the pitch; command needs sharpening.
Spins a good curveball; has potential to be an above-average pitch at the next level; at the same time, needs to be used more; hasn't needed much besides his fastball at the high school level; sits in the 77-83 mph range.
Pitch rarely gets used; as such, it's hard to tell if the pitch will be usable at the pro level; fastball-curve combo has rendered changeup unnecessary for Taylor; developing third pitch will be crucial to his development as a starter; if he fails to develop pitch, he's staring at a career as a reliever.
Solid control of his fastball and curve; excellent control of the lower half of the strike zone with fastball; lacks consistency required at the next level; control of changeup is severely lacking.
Fastball command is above-average; can direct the pitch pretty much wherever it needs to go; sinking action makes it a lethal pitch when he throws it low in the strike zone; curveball command has a way to go; changeup command is nonexistent.
MLB Player Comparison: Brian Matusz
Projection: No. 4 or 5 starter for a first-division team; more likely a successful 7th- or 8th-inning reliever.
MLB ETA: 2019
Chances of Signing: 45%
Taylor's fastball will have teams drooling over him. Concerns about his secondary stuff, especially the lack of a changeup, means he's likely better-suited to head to the University of Hawaii. If he's smart, he won't accept anything less than a high six-figure bonus.