Batting .439 with 18 hits and an on base percentage of .564, University of Louisville senior centerfielder Logan Taylor is doing exactly what coach Dan McDonnell has asked of his plus runners: showing great plate discipline.
"You want those plus runners to just put the ball in play and not have easy outs," McDonnell said. “… I just need quality at bats and right now Logan is one of those three seniors giving us quality at bats."
The native of Lexington, Ky., is the leadoff batter for the Cardinals this season and he has taken advantage of getting the first look at the starting pitchers of the opposing teams. The U of L team captain has used this opportunity to help his teammates stay prepared.
“If I can come back into the dugout and see what that guy is throwing I can tell the rest of the lineup like, ‘hey this is what he is like'," Taylor said.
In addition to his ability to get a feel for the opposing pitcher, Taylor has been able to use his speed to advance into scoring position. He is a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases this season. Taylor said that the team’s potential for stolen bases has forced the opposition to throw more fastballs, creating the ideal situation for the Cardinals’ offense.
"I don’t think its just me, I just think it’s the name of Louisville because we are known to steal bases,” he said. “We’re looking to run and I think teams definitely know because teams are a lot faster to the plate when we’re on base.”
Taylor has reached safely in all 11 games, has six multi-hit and four multi-RBI games already this season, while his .439 batting average and .564 on-base percentage are both second on the team to All-American Brendan McKay.
He has two doubles, one triple and 26 putouts in the field.
McDonnell said he wants Taylor to continue to "utilize his speed" to help set the tone for the Cardinals, just like Corey Ray did for the Cardinals last season. Ray was a first-round pick in the June Amateur Draft.
“He’s a great base runner, he’s dynamic, and he can steal bases,” said McDonnell. “I challenge him, ‘You don’t have to be Corey Ray. Corey Ray does what Corey Ray does. You do what you can do.’ ”
The Cardinals are 11-0 and back in action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Ft. Wayne.