Jays From the Couch Will Review Seasons Of Many, Hopefully, Most, Of The Toronto Blue Jays Prospects. Not Just The Top Prospects.
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Drafted in the 2016 Draft by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round, Samad Taylor spent his 1st professional season as a member of the Arizona League Indians. In 32 games, he batted .293 with 5 doubles, 2 triples, and a HR while playing all games at 2nd base.
In 2017, the 18-yr-old started the season in the New York Penn League as a member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Taylor batted .300 with 6 doubles, a triple, and 4 HR in 28 games. On July 13th, Samad Taylor was included, along with LHP Thomas Pannone, were sent to Toronto in a trade for RHP Joe Smith. The infielder started his Blue Jays career as a member of the Bluefield Blue Jays. He was only in Bluefield for 5 games before moving up a level to join the Vancouver Canadians. In 19 games with the C’s, Samad batted .294 with 3 doubles and 2HR.
Samad Taylor played his 1st full season in 2018 with the Lansing Lugnuts. In 121 games, the infielder showed off his game-changing speed with 44 stolen bases in 60 attempts. He also showed off improved plate discipline walking 57 walks and 99 strikeouts. His walk rate increased from 6.4 to 10.8%. His strikeout rate decreased from 23.1 to 18.7%. Taylor finished the season with a disappointing .710OPS while collecting 32 doubles, 7 triples, 9HR, and 53RBI.
The 2019 season had the 20-yr-old infielder playing with the Dunedin Blue Jays. He appeared in 108 games, Samad Taylor saw his batting average and OPS decrease to .216 and .689. His ISO dipped from .159 to .147 while collecting 20 doubles, 3 triples, and 7HR. Taylor stole 26 bases in 36 attempts.
In 2020, the 21-yr-old spent time at Camp Covid (Instructional League) and Australia. Samad Taylor played 25 as a member of the Canberra Cavalry during his time in the Australian Baseball League. Taylor batted .244 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and 3 stole bases.
As a member of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Taylor made his Double-A debut on May 4th, going 1-for-5 with a run scored, a double, and 3 strikeouts while playing 3rd base and batting 9th. He played 21 games, collecting 2 doubles and hitting 3 home runs. His strikeout rate was alarming with 33, walking 4 times.
June saw Taylor explode, batting .359 with a 1.212OPS in 24 games. The 21-yr-old collected 8 doubles and 9 home runs while walking 18 times and 26 strikeouts. On June 1st, he started a 9-game hit streak which turned into a 39-game on-base streak. Samad finished the month with 11 multi-hit games, batting .310 with a .400OBP while slugging .583.
In July, Taylor only played 16 games, missing time between July 5th and 16th. He batted .321 with 3 doubles and a home run while reaching base in every game but the final game of the month. This ended his on-base streak which he started on June 1st.
August saw Samad Taylor make 22 starts, batting .256 with a .829OSP. He collected 4 doubles, a triple, and 3 home runs while stealing 10 bases in 14 attempts. Samad started the month with a 14-game on-base streak with 5 multi-hit games. After going hitless with no walks on August 20th and 21st, he started another on-base streak which lasted 7 games.
In September, a combination of lost games due to covid-19 protocol and landing on the IL on the 8th. In 4 games, Taylor collected 3 doubles with a stolen base while batting .214.
At the End Of the Day
At 22-yr-old Samad was 1.9 years younger than the average age for the league. He played 87 games, batting .294 with .888OPS. Taylor produced well above league average with a .385wOBA and 141wRC+.
The native of Corona, Corona, CA., posted a career-high .209ISO with a .394BABIP. The 5-foot-10 prospect finished with 17 doubles, a triple, 16HR (career-high), and 52RBI. He finished with a tidy 11.2BB% (42BB) while striking out at a rate of 29.4K% (110K).
On the base paths, Taylor continued to impress with his legs. He stole 30 bases in 38 attempts. He went from batting 9th (7GP) to start the season but finished batting 1st (39GP) and 2nd (17GP).
On June 5th and June 16th, Samad Taylor went 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored, 2 home runs, and 4RBI. In his June 5th performance, Samad struck out twice while on the 16th he walked once with no strikeouts.
Taylor had one game that saw him score 4 runs and three 4RBI games. He also had two 4-hit games.
LHP vs RHP
Samad Taylor really struggled against LHP, batting just .203 with 3 doubles and 3HR. He did a great job against RHP, batting .321 with a .950OPS. Righties surrendered 14 doubles, a triple, and 13 home runs to Samad Taylor.
Clutch or No
With the bases empty, Samad Taylor batted .296 with 12 doubles, a triple, and 6HR which is great for a guy who batted leadoff. Leading off an inning, Taylor batted .366 with a 1.002OPS.
Samad struggled with the bases loaded, batting .182 with an ugly .396OPS. He went 2-for-11 with two singles. With RISP Samad Taylor batted .247 with a .847OPS with a pair of doubles and 6HR.
In the Field
After mostly playing 2nd base throughout his professional career, Samad Taylor played all over the field in 2021. Taylor made the most appearances this year at 2nd base, playing 34 games and committing just 2 errors. He played 14 games at 3rd and 5 games at SS.
Samad Taylor made 30 appearances in the outfield with 22 games in LF and 8 games in CF. Taylor made two errors in LF but played well despite his lack of experience.
Breakout season or just a strong two months?
He did enough at Double-A to earn a promotion to Triple-A in 2022. His progress at multiple positions makes it possible for him to develop into another versatile prospect in the mold of Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, and Otto Lopez.
I’d like to see Taylor get more time in the outfield. The package Taylor brings to the field would fit nicely in the outfield but it is more likely he will fill a void at 2nd base in Buffalo.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.