Jay Blue: Canadian Curtis Taylor lands with Jays as part of Sogard trade

UBC Thunderbirds and Coquitlam Reds alum Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC), shown here with the Thunderbirds, was one of two players the Toronto Blue Jays acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Eric Sogard. Photo: UBC Athletics

UBC Thunderbirds and Coquitlam Reds alum Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC), shown here with the Thunderbirds, was one of two players the Toronto Blue Jays acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Eric Sogard. Photo: UBC Athletics

By Jay Blue

Blue Jays from Away

The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays completed their July 28, 2019 trade that sent Eric Sogard to the Rays for two players to be named later. It was announced on Sunday that the Blue Jays will receive minor league righties Edisson Gonzalez and Curtis Taylor.

Taylor, a 24-year-old B.C. native, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and as already been traded once.

Selected out of the University of British Columbia, Taylor, a 6-foot-6 righty, worked out of the bullpen in the Northwest League in his first professional year, posting a 2.20 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 16 1/3 innings as a reliever, striking out 23 and walking five. In 2017, he worked as a starter, tossing 62 1/3 innings for the Class-A Kane County Cougars with a 3.32 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, striking out 68 and walking 23 in a season that was interrupted by a shoulder injury. He didn't get started until May and lost the end of the season with shoulder impingement.

That offseason, Taylor was traded to Tampa Bay and the Rays have had him working out of the bullpen for the most part. in 2018, he threw 78 innings between class-A Advanced Charlotte and double-A Montgomery, striking out 97 and walking 30 with a combined 2.54 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and this year Taylor spent the season in Montgomery, again missing time and throwing only 17 2/3 innings, posting a 3.06 ERA and 1.075 WHIP with 16 strikeouts and five walks.

Taylor has been reported to throw in the mid-to-high 90s and will likely be a potential bullpen pitcher who sees action as early as 2020 for the Blue Jays.

Edisson Gonzalez joins the Blue Jays as a 19-year-old righty from Panama.

Gonzalez was known as early as 2012 when he pitched for Panama in the Little League World Series. He was signed by the Rays in 2016 and made his pro debut in 2017 in the DSL, posting a 2.23 ERA and 0.77 WHIP over 44 1/3 innings, striking out 60 and walking just 13. He moved up to the GCL in 2018, splitting time between the complex league and the Appalachian League where he struggled a lot more, posting a 6.62 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 17 2/3 innings at the higher level. In 2019, Gonzalez posted a strong season for Hudson Valley in the Short-Season-A New York-Penn League, throwing 62 1/3 innings with a 2.45 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, striking out 77 and walking 13.

I haven't been able to find a scouting report on Gonzalez but with his strong season this year, we should be able to find more as sites go into the offesason.

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The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is available now! Visit the Handbook page for more information!