Prospects on Deck: Samad Taylor – Blue Jays
Taylor is making a name for himself this year with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
One of the best parts about writing for a site like Legends on Deck, is the ability to highlight minor league players that perform at a high level each and every night. Players that are not necessarily at the top of an organization’s prospect list. Players that have improved each season and at each new level they reach. A player that makes you jealous of an organization because they have them. Players, that for the past two weeks have been tearing the cover off the ball and tearing up the base paths. For me, that player is Samad Taylor.
Taylor was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Corona High School in Corona, California. The Indians were able to lure him away from the University of Arizona where he was committed to play. Scouts mentioned that Taylor has quick hands and plus speed and projected him as a utility player, being able to play most infield positions and outfield positions, which he has done so far in his professional career. He was able to play a season and a half with the team that drafted him, before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, along with Thomas Pannone, for relief pitcher Joe Smith at the 2017 trade deadline. After being traded, Taylor worked his way up to the former Advanced Single-A before things were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike so many players, Taylor had the opportunity to head “down under” during the 2020 calendar year, when the Blue Jays sent him to play for the Canberra Calvary of the Australian Baseball League. This opportunity proved to pay high dividends for the 5’9 utility player since he started the 2021 campaign in the new Double-A Northeast, playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
After having relative success with the other teams he has played for, Taylor has really come into his own this season. Overall for the Fisher Cats, Taylor is hitting .322 in 39 games. Although his strikeouts are high, he is on pace to have career bests in most other categories, thanks in part to the past two weeks. In the span of his last twelve games, Taylor has amassed 20 hits in 46 at-bats (.435). He has added five home runs, driven in 13 runs, collected five doubles, walking nine times, and swiping five bases. It should probably be mentioned that he also has scored 18 times as well. He is one of, if not the, hottest hitters in Double-A currently. He also has collected at least one hit in sixteen of his last eighteen games in the month of June, including a 4-hit night on June 19th against the Hartford Yard Goats. His line for the month is .400/.488/.857 making him a player to keep your eye on. Taylor is at the top of most offensive categories in the Double-A Northeast division and across all Double-A divisions. His 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases are close to the top, if not at the top, of all levels of the minor leagues.
One of the hardest things for a young player is finding a spot to play. The Toronto Blue Jays seem to be set in most areas of the infield and outfield for quite a while. The good news is it gives players like Taylor more time to develop with the bad news being a traffic jam to the big leagues. Nevertheless, fans of the Toronto Blue Jays have to be excited knowing that there are players like Taylor waiting to emerge to make an impact wherever he goes. For now though, let us all sit back and enjoy what he is accomplishing this season.