RHP Curtis Taylor
Hometown: Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Ht: 6’ 6”, Wt: 225.
School: University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
Previous team: Coquitlam Reds.
Coaches: Chris Pritchett, Terry McKaig, Bill Green, Shawn Bowman.
2016 junior season: Struck out the side in Phoenix in his one inning of work at a pre-draft workout ... Was 92-96 mph, off speed was outstanding as he allowed four hits, didn’t walk a man and fanned 10 in no decision against Lewis-Clark State in front of five cross checkers ... Owns 1.96 ERA, 9-4 in 15 starts ... 22 walks and 113 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings ... Holding opponents to .201 average ... Wins over Cal State San Bernardino, Simpson (twice), Corban (twice), Oregon Tech (twice), Idaho and Thompson Rivers ... Took loss at No. 16-ranked Westmont (5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 3 WP) ... Six scoreless in win over Cal State LA (3 H, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 3 WP) ... Edged Corban 2-1 (9 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 Ks) ... Six scoreless (three hits, five strikeouts) in win over Idaho after missing two starts with a mild back issue.
Baseball America Scouting Report: The only Canadian school in NAIA, British Columbia produced 2002 first-rounder Jeff Francis, who went on to be Minor League Player of the Year and pitched parts of 11 seasons of the big leagues. Taylor is the school’s best prospect since then, and the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has a chance to go in the first three rounds. He’s imposing physically and has room to add some size and maintain his top-end velocity more. He has a loose arm with a low slot, releasing the ball a bit lower than low three-quarters, and has run his fastball up to 96 mph. When he doesn’t fly open too soon, he’s able to stay on top of his hard slider and get ground balls and weak contact with that and his 92-94 mph sinking, running fastball. He’s worked more in relief over the course of his career, and his changeup remains behind his other two offerings, but he transitioned to starting this spring and finished well, striking out 22 in 12.2 innings of his final two starts.
Perfect Game USA Scouting Report: 284. Curtis Taylor, rhp, British Columbia (JR)
R-R, 6-5/225, Coquitlam, British Columbia
Previously Drafted: Never Drafted
Taylor was ranked as the West Coast League’s eighth-best prospect this past summer. There the big righty opened some eyes with a fastball that he ran up to as high as 95 mph to go along with a solid slider and splitter. He’s been extremely effective this spring as one half of a dominant 1-2 punch with fellow rotation-mate Alex Webb. Taylor has struck out 101 batters while issuing just 18 walks and allowing 62 hits in 85 innings, and his stuff has remained pretty consistent over the course of the spring, even after making the transition from his previous role as the team’s closer to the starting rotation.
2015 sophomore season: 4-2, 1.02 ERA, 12 UBC saves in 24 games, including two starts, walking 13 and striking 51 in 53 innings. He held opponents to a .153 average. With Kelowna Falcons was 3-3, 3.37 ERA, two saves in 10 games making seven starts, walking 15 and striking out 36 in 45 1/3 innings.
2014 freshmen season: 5-3, 3.11 in 20 games -- one start -- walking 12 and striking out 22 in 37 2/3 innings -- holding opponents to .265 average.
Honors _ 2016: Honourable mention for the All-American teams ... Cascade Conference First Team ... NAIA Preseason All-America Team, 2015: All-American Honourable Mention, All-NAIA West Group First Team, Canadian Baseball Network First Team All-Canadian College Team.
Scouting report _ Perfect Game, West Coast League: Taylor was a dominant closer for the University of British Columbia (NAIA) this spring and he effectively transitioned to a starting role for Kelowna this summer. While his strikeout rate was slightly down this summer (36 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings), Taylor did turn heads by touching 95 mph with his fastball. Taylor’s slider and split are at least average pitches currently but it’s his highly projectible 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame that makes him a very interesting draft prospect.
What they are saying: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks in opener vs. Corban ... Was 94-95 at UBC scout day in September in front of scouts and crosscheckers.
On other lists: Listed 115th on Baseball America's top 500 combined list ... 283th on Perfect Game's top 500 list ... Ranked 8th on Perfect Game’s top 30 prospects from West Coast summer college league.
C.J. Pentland: Noble numbers for Webb, Taylor