With the 13th pick of the 4th round (119th overall) the Arizona Diamond Backs selected UBC right-hander Curtis Taylor.
Hometown: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Team: University of British Columbia
Coaches: Chris Pritchett, Terry McKaig, Bill Green, Shawn Bowman.
Slot Money: $496,700
Rated: 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.
Scouts: Doug Mathieson, Tim Wilken
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.
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.
CJ Pentland _ Taylor has a chance to open pro career at home