Phillies Prospect #55: Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor was on scouts radar from the time he was a high school junior. After a successful stint at Stanford, he had developed and showed big time power potential that the Phillies couldn't resist.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft.

B: T: R  /  Height: 6' 6"  /  Weight: 250 lbs  /  Birth Date: 12-19-1985

2007 Team/League: Williamsport (New York - Penn League)

Positions Played in 2007: LF / RF

School: Stanford

Batting and Power: Scouts have liked Michael Taylor since he was a sophomore in high school. The attraction was his raw power, which was able to come through even though his swing had a lot of holes and his mechanics at the plate were, quite honestly, messed up. He started to straighten things out at Stanford in 2007 and it improved his stock quite a bit, leading the Phillies to draft him in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft. They immediately went to work on his swing and he showed a lot of improvement in his first pro season at Williamsport, but his numbers - .227 average, .300 on-base percentage - were down from where it's believed that he'll be before too long. With continued work, it's thought that he could add close to 50 points onto the average and push the OBP much higher because of his power. His plate discipline needs a little work, but one thing that Taylor isn't afraid of is work, so the Phillies are optimistic that he'll improve there. When all is said and done, Taylor should hit for both power and average and has the ability to put on a display with some of the monster power that he has as a weapon.

Baserunning and Speed: While he's not likely to win any stolen base titles, Taylor has above average speed and stole eight bases last season in the short-season New York/Penn League. he's also smart enough to run in the right spots and not get himself thrown out too much.

Defense: Taylor lacks the range and natural instincts to play center field, but he's worked to become a slightly above average defensive player in left and right field. He fits best in right field, primarily because of the gun that he calls an arm, but the Phillies had him primarily in left field last season at Williamsport, where he had five outfield assists in 2007. When Taylor arrived at Stanford, they weren't quite comfortable with him in the outfield defensively and thought he may wind up as a first baseman, but thanks to the fact that Taylor worked so hard to become a better outfielder, he alleviated all the fears that the Stanford coaching staff had of him when he arrived.

Projection: Now that Taylor has put fears about his defense to rest and has closed some of the holes in his swing, it's easy to see why some scouts thought the Phillies were very lucky that he lasted into the fifth round of the draft. There is still some work to do with him in almost every facet of the game, but Taylor has all of the raw talent and skills to not only make it to the big leagues, but possibly, beyond.

What else you should know about Michael Taylor:

  • Taylor has battled Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 10 and has handled it to the point where scouts didn't even consider it as an issue when they were following him.
  • He was a teammate of Zach Greinke in high school and that's when scouts initially developed an interest in him.
  • Named to the PAC10 team in 2007.

Michael Taylor's career stats

2007 Williamsport 6 33 .227 66 233 30 53 14 0 8 23 53 .300 .365

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