Scouting Jays Prospect #33: Mitchell Taylor

The Toronto Blue Jays selected left-handed pitcher Mitchell Taylor in the 7th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Spring High School in Texas. Possessing a ton of ability that gives him immense long-term potential, it's been his slower progress short-term to make the necessary adjustments that has frustrated some.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Mitchell Taylor
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: May 11, 1992
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 170
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

"He thinks he can walk the bases loaded and strike out the side," Bluefield pitching coach Antonio Caceres told FutureJays.com during the season. "His mentality is far from the reality, I think.

"We want to make sure he understands it doesn't work that way. Don't get in trouble and then try to make good pitches, try to make good pitches and get the hitters out right away rather than mess around."

He went a solid 4-2 for the Bluefield Blue Jays and struck out a team-high 61 batters in just 55 1/3 innings, and walked just 14 batters along the way. However, while the end result numbers were good, it was the process by which those numbers were achieved that stuck out for some.

"I think the results show better than what he did," said Caceres. "He had some deep counts and got behind a lot. He made some good pitches when he needed to.

"He has the ability to just make adjustments and think, ‘okay, I have to make a pitch here,' and go ahead and do it. We want him to do that right from the first pitch and just go and work one pitch at a time and have the same mentality on every pitch rather than go 2-0 or 3-0 and then concentrate on hitting the spot."

While the pitch-ability has lacked somewhat despite the possession of a solid five-pitch arsenal, many inside the organization know the short-term hiccups are going to be there to realize the vast potential he has down the road.

"He's deceptive," said Caceres. "When he's around the zone, he's got good movement. He's tough for the hitter to figure out. They don't know what's coming. Like I said, he's deceptive, and hitters sometimes don't pick up the ball.

"I tell you what, he's got the ability and he's got some pitching potential. He can do a lot of things that a lot of kids at his age are not going to be able to do. He's just that type of kid. Mentally, his approach has got to change a little bit. But I think it will work out with his ability to throw different pitches and throw for strikes.

"If you talk to him and say, ‘I want you to throw this,' he will do it. So he's got that ability. I think it's just [in his head] where he's got to make some adjustments."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2011

Bluefield

4-2

0

55.1

50

14

61

4.23



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball. Taylor throws a fastball combination anywhere in the 90-93 mph range, sitting mostly in the 90-91 mph range with his sinking two-seamer and more 91-93 mph with his power four-seamer. Depending on his arm slot and mechanics, he has the ability to locate his fastball pretty consistently when he's not overhthrowing.

Other Pitches. Taylor has an array of three offspeed pitches at his disposal which, like his fastball, can be a devastating pitch when he's in sync mechanically and throwing over the top of the ball rather than pushing it. His curveball in particular has the look of a plus big league offering when it's going right, but just like his slider there are times where his command of it escapes him for long stretches. His changeup can also be an above average pitch depending on the day.

Pitching. Taylor can be maddeningly frustrating because he will show some glimpses of being not just a big league pitcher but a dominating one and then at other times look like he is about to walk the ball park because he can't seemingly command any of his pitches. The good news is he has also shown an advanced ability to bear down when he needs to and make the necessary big pitch to get out of jams, but that might not be the case as he climbs to the higher minor league levels and faces more advanced hitters.. Physically he's a gifted athlete who has the ability to field his position and hold runners close when he makes it a priority.

Projection. Showing the ability to command five pitches [including his two fastballs] when he absolutely has to, all of which have above average to plus potential, Taylor has a very high ceiling projection-wise. In fact, if he could ever become a consistent pitcher command-wise and mechanically, he has future #2 or #3 type stuff. However, unlike some other pitchers with that kind of ceiling, his stubbornness to make quicker adjustments does also give him considerable 'bust' potential too if he can't make the long-term mental adjustment to improve his pitch-ability. The physical talent is there though.

ETA. 2016. Where Taylor breaks camp in 2012 will be one of the bigger story lines in Spring Training. He's proven he can more than hold his own in low-A Lansing if Toronto chooses to send him there.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Mitchell Taylor
\r\nPosition: Starting Pitcher
\r\nDOB: May 11, 1992
\r\nHeight: 6'0\"
\r\nWeight: 170
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\n
\r\n\"He thinks he can walk the bases loaded and strike out the side,\" Bluefield pitching coach Antonio Caceres told FutureJays.com during the season. \"His mentality is far from the reality, I think.
\r\n
\r\n\"We want to make sure he understands it doesn't work that way. Don't get in trouble and then try to make good pitches, try to make good pitches and get the hitters out right away rather than mess around.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe went a solid 4-2 for the Bluefield Blue Jays and struck out a team-high 61 batters in just 55 1/3 innings, and walked just 14 batters along the way. However, while the end result numbers were good, it was the process by which those numbers were achieved that stuck out for some.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think the results show better than what he did,\" said Caceres. \"He had some deep counts and got behind a lot. He made some good pitches when he needed to.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has the ability to just make adjustments and think, ‘okay, I have to make a pitch here,' and go ahead and do it. We want him to do that right from the first pitch and just go and work one pitch at a time and have the same mentality on every pitch rather than go 2-0 or 3-0 and then concentrate on hitting the spot.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile the pitch-ability has lacked somewhat despite the possession of a solid five-pitch arsenal, many inside the organization know the short-term hiccups are going to be there to realize the vast potential he has down the road.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's deceptive,\" said Caceres. \"When he's around the zone, he's got good movement. He's tough for the hitter to figure out. They don't know what's coming. Like I said, he's deceptive, and hitters sometimes don't pick up the ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"I tell you what, he's got the ability and he's got some pitching potential. He can do a lot of things that a lot of kids at his age are not going to be able to do. He's just that type of kid. Mentally, his approach has got to change a little bit. But I think it will work out with his ability to throw different pitches and throw for strikes.
\r\n
\r\n\"If you talk to him and say, ‘I want you to throw this,' he will do it. So he's got that ability. I think it's just [in his head] where he's got to make some adjustments.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n H

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

\r\n SO

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2011

\r\n

\r\n Bluefield

\r\n

\r\n 4-2

\r\n

0

\r\n

\r\n 55.1

\r\n

\r\n 50

\r\n

\r\n 14

\r\n

\r\n 61

\r\n

\r\n 4.23


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Taylor throws a fastball combination anywhere in the 90-93 mph range, sitting mostly in the 90-91 mph range with his sinking two-seamer and more 91-93 mph with his power four-seamer. Depending on his arm slot and mechanics, he has the ability to locate his fastball pretty consistently when he's not overhthrowing.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. Taylor has an array of three offspeed pitches at his disposal which, like his fastball, can be a devastating pitch when he's in sync mechanically and throwing over the top of the ball rather than pushing it. His curveball in particular has the look of a plus big league offering when it's going right, but just like his slider there are times where his command of it escapes him for long stretches. His changeup can also be an above average pitch depending on the day.
\r\n
\r\nPitching. Taylor can be maddeningly frustrating because he will show some glimpses of being not just a big league pitcher but a dominating one and then at other times look like he is about to walk the ball park because he can't seemingly command any of his pitches. The good news is he has also shown an advanced ability to bear down when he needs to and make the necessary big pitch to get out of jams, but that might not be the case as he climbs to the higher minor league levels and faces more advanced hitters.. Physically he's a gifted athlete who has the ability to field his position and hold runners close when he makes it a priority.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Showing the ability to command five pitches [including his two fastballs] when he absolutely has to, all of which have above average to plus potential, Taylor has a very high ceiling projection-wise. In fact, if he could ever become a consistent pitcher command-wise and mechanically, he has future #2 or #3 type stuff. However, unlike some other pitchers with that kind of ceiling, his stubbornness to make quicker adjustments does also give him considerable 'bust' potential too if he can't make the long-term mental adjustment to improve his pitch-ability. The physical talent is there though.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2016. Where Taylor breaks camp in 2012 will be one of the bigger story lines in Spring Training. He's proven he can more than hold his own in low-A Lansing if Toronto chooses to send him there.
\r\n
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