Yankees Scouting Report: Taylor Grote

The Yankees drafted outfielder Taylor Grote in the eighth round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of The Woodlands High School in Texas. Although signing too late to make his professional debut last season outside of one pinch-hit at-bat, he begins his professional career brimming with confidence and with one of the more solid overall games.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Taylor Grote
Position: Outfield
DOB: December 5, 1988
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

"I really enjoy it," Grote said of pro ball. "I'm really enjoying the whole situation, I love all the people in the organization, and I just love the way everybody goes about their business. In high school there's a lot of wasted time, a lot of sitting around, but in pro ball we're always doing something beneficial. I really enjoy it."

Hitless in his one pinch-hit at-bat with the Gulf Coast League Yankees towards the end of the season, his professional experience thus far has been limited to two Instructional League camps in Tampa and the Dominican Republic but he believes he has seen enough to know how he stacks up against his competition.

"I've always been a confident player," he admitted. "I feel my game is right there with them [the other pros] or better than most guys that I've seen. There's some older guys that might have a leg up on me but I'm also 18 years old and they're 22, 23, or 24.

"I'm real confident in my progression and I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much just because I can see a lot of room for growth and a lot of room for progress inside the organization."

Having solid tools across the board and an athlete who has played a multitude of sports growing up - including football, soccer, golf, and volleyball - he enters the organization without one aspect of his game better than the other.

"I feel like I do a lot of different things well," he said of his strengths. "I don't think I have one [tool] that's just a dead strength for me. I don't think there's anything I do that's way on top of everything else.

"I think I have a pretty good throwing arm. I think there's definitely things I need to work on, there's no doubt about that. I think I do a lot of things well but I think I can work on all of them at the same time. I feel confident in all aspects of my game. I'd like to have an all-around game."

While his lack of one great tool allows him to be a bit overshadowed by some of his fellow farmhands, the fact is he also doesn't have any glaring weaknesses in his game and that's a rare commodity for a player so young.

"Really just playing, getting some games under my belt," he said of what he needs, "improving my instincts on the base paths, plate discipline, knowing my [hitting] zone, things like that. I want to be able to play all three outfield positions at some point, but really it's my instincts on the base paths and knowing my zone - knowing what pitches I can handle at the plate.

"I feel like I get myself out a lot on pitches that are strikes but they're not my pitches to drive somewhere."

A centerfielder in his senior year of high school but a right fielder the year before that, Grote has been playing mostly left field in his limited time with the Yankees and he believes his defensive future is in one of the corners.

"I think they like me more in the corners in pro ball," he said of his eventual outfield position. "I'm a decent runner but I'm not an absolute dead-burner like some of these little guys out there. I think I can play them all but I'm glad they're giving me the chance in left field because I played right my junior year in high school when we won the state championship.

"I know I can play right and I'm more comfortable in right than I am in left, but the more I've been playing there the more I pick it up. I feel like I'm getting better there and I've been getting a lot of time in left. Right [field] is more comfortable for me because I got to play the whole season there."

After hitting eight home runs in his senior year of high school, he realizes that to play one of the corner outfield positions at the professional level that he will need to improve his power production.

"I consider myself a hitter for average but one that definitely has some streaky power," he revealed. "Gap-to-gap doubles is something I want to keep doing and not just be a dead-power hitter. I definitely want power to hit some home runs in professional ball, there's no doubt about that."

Enlisted with the task of reporting to Spring Training at 200 pounds, he only has a few more pounds to add to achieve his goal but he also wants to get physically stronger.

"I've been working out quite often and I've been following my offseason manual pretty steady," he admitted. "It's definitely something I want to do. I obviously want to get bigger, faster, and stronger, but I'm only 19 still and my body still has time to grow and mature on its own, and then I can add strength with that."

Possessing the confidence and maturity of a much older player, while he would like all the phases of his game to come together as quickly as possible, he believes the first step towards doing that is being consistent in his all-around game.

"I definitely would like to hit around .300 like every player would like to do," he said of his goals for 2008. "Really I just want to be consistent through the season though. I don't want to have a huge down-time. I think consistency is such a big thing in baseball and for my first year I'd like to see how I can handle that."


Batting and Power. Even though he is rather young with virtually no professional experience to his credit, Grote has one of the more mature approaches at the plate. His extremely high confidence level and quick bat speed allows him to be very patient, willing to sit on better pitches, and that combination has many insiders believing he will be a perennial .300 hitter in due time. He also has a knack for putting the barrel of the bat on the ball, so while his somewhat smaller frame might prevent him from being a good home run hitter right now, he does have very good power potential if he can continue to get stronger and as his body physically matures.

Base Running and Speed. Grote is a slightly above average runner at the professional level. He doesn't have the great speed normally associated with centerfielders to be a true stealing threat on the base paths, but he is a guy opposing pitchers will have to keep an eye on. With his ability to get on base and natural agility, he should be a double-digit stolen base threat annually.

Defense. Grote has natural baseball instincts, good arm strength, and solid range, enough so that he could man any of the three outfield positions if called upon. But with none of his defensive tools being superior to the other, he projects best as a superb defensive left fielder at the professional level.

Projection. In a lot of ways Grote is a teenage version of current Yankee farmhand Colin Curtis. Like Curtis, Grote is a versatile defensive outfielder who profiles better as a plus defensive left fielder, and his patient approach, loose hands, and developing power offensively are also comparable. Also like Curtis, his lack of one great tool will probably allow him to fly under the radar as he climbs his way to the big leagues as an everyday starting outfielder who could hit anywhere in a big league lineup - his offensive game could be that versatile.

ETA. 2012. Grote seems destined to begin his professional career in the Gulf Coast League in 2008 and should be on a one level per year track through the minor leagues.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Taylor Grote
\r\nPosition: Outfield
\r\nDOB: December 5, 1988
\r\nHeight: 6'2\"
\r\nWeight: 195
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"I really enjoy it,\" Grote said of pro ball. \"I'm really enjoying the whole situation, I love all the people in the organization, and I just love the way everybody goes about their business. In high school there's a lot of wasted time, a lot of sitting around, but in pro ball we're always doing something beneficial. I really enjoy it.\"
\r\n
\r\nHitless in his one pinch-hit at-bat with the Gulf Coast League Yankees towards the end of the season, his professional experience thus far has been limited to two Instructional League camps in Tampa and the Dominican Republic but he believes he has seen enough to know how he stacks up against his competition.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've always been a confident player,\" he admitted. \"I feel my game is right there with them [the other pros] or better than most guys that I've seen. There's some older guys that might have a leg up on me but I'm also 18 years old and they're 22, 23, or 24.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm real confident in my progression and I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much just because I can see a lot of room for growth and a lot of room for progress inside the organization.\"
\r\n
\r\nHaving solid tools across the board and an athlete who has played a multitude of sports growing up - including football, soccer, golf, and volleyball - he enters the organization without one aspect of his game better than the other.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like I do a lot of different things well,\" he said of his strengths. \"I don't think I have one [tool] that's just a dead strength for me. I don't think there's anything I do that's way on top of everything else.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I have a pretty good throwing arm. I think there's definitely things I need to work on, there's no doubt about that. I think I do a lot of things well but I think I can work on all of them at the same time. I feel confident in all aspects of my game. I'd like to have an all-around game.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile his lack of one great tool allows him to be a bit overshadowed by some of his fellow farmhands, the fact is he also doesn't have any glaring weaknesses in his game and that's a rare commodity for a player so young.
\r\n
\r\n\"Really just playing, getting some games under my belt,\" he said of what he needs, \"improving my instincts on the base paths, plate discipline, knowing my [hitting] zone, things like that. I want to be able to play all three outfield positions at some point, but really it's my instincts on the base paths and knowing my zone - knowing what pitches I can handle at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like I get myself out a lot on pitches that are strikes but they're not my pitches to drive somewhere.\"
\r\n
\r\nA centerfielder in his senior year of high school but a right fielder the year before that, Grote has been playing mostly left field in his limited time with the Yankees and he believes his defensive future is in one of the corners.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think they like me more in the corners in pro ball,\" he said of his eventual outfield position. \"I'm a decent runner but I'm not an absolute dead-burner like some of these little guys out there. I think I can play them all but I'm glad they're giving me the chance in left field because I played right my junior year in high school when we won the state championship.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know I can play right and I'm more comfortable in right than I am in left, but the more I've been playing there the more I pick it up. I feel like I'm getting better there and I've been getting a lot of time in left. Right [field] is more comfortable for me because I got to play the whole season there.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter hitting eight home runs in his senior year of high school, he realizes that to play one of the corner outfield positions at the professional level that he will need to improve his power production.
\r\n
\r\n\"I consider myself a hitter for average but one that definitely has some streaky power,\" he revealed. \"Gap-to-gap doubles is something I want to keep doing and not just be a dead-power hitter. I definitely want power to hit some home runs in professional ball, there's no doubt about that.\"
\r\n
\r\nEnlisted with the task of reporting to Spring Training at 200 pounds, he only has a few more pounds to add to achieve his goal but he also wants to get physically stronger.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been working out quite often and I've been following my offseason manual pretty steady,\" he admitted. \"It's definitely something I want to do. I obviously want to get bigger, faster, and stronger, but I'm only 19 still and my body still has time to grow and mature on its own, and then I can add strength with that.\"
\r\n
\r\nPossessing the confidence and maturity of a much older player, while he would like all the phases of his game to come together as quickly as possible, he believes the first step towards doing that is being consistent in his all-around game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I definitely would like to hit around .300 like every player would like to do,\" he said of his goals for 2008. \"Really I just want to be consistent through the season though. I don't want to have a huge down-time. I think consistency is such a big thing in baseball and for my first year I'd like to see how I can handle that.\"
\r\n
\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Even though he is rather young with virtually no professional experience to his credit, Grote has one of the more mature approaches at the plate. His extremely high confidence level and quick bat speed allows him to be very patient, willing to sit on better pitches, and that combination has many insiders believing he will be a perennial .300 hitter in due time. He also has a knack for putting the barrel of the bat on the ball, so while his somewhat smaller frame might prevent him from being a good home run hitter right now, he does have very good power potential if he can continue to get stronger and as his body physically matures.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. Grote is a slightly above average runner at the professional level. He doesn't have the great speed normally associated with centerfielders to be a true stealing threat on the base paths, but he is a guy opposing pitchers will have to keep an eye on. With his ability to get on base and natural agility, he should be a double-digit stolen base threat annually.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. Grote has natural baseball instincts, good arm strength, and solid range, enough so that he could man any of the three outfield positions if called upon. But with none of his defensive tools being superior to the other, he projects best as a superb defensive left fielder at the professional level.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. In a lot of ways Grote is a teenage version of current Yankee farmhand Colin Curtis. Like Curtis, Grote is a versatile defensive outfielder who profiles better as a plus defensive left fielder, and his patient approach, loose hands, and developing power offensively are also comparable. Also like Curtis, his lack of one great tool will probably allow him to fly under the radar as he climbs his way to the big leagues as an everyday starting outfielder who could hit anywhere in a big league lineup - his offensive game could be that versatile.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2012. Grote seems destined to begin his professional career in the Gulf Coast League in 2008 and should be on a one level per year track through the minor leagues.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

\r\n

Get both magazines by upgrading today!
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine, including our special Yankees Prospects Guide, PLUS the special 84-page Scout.com Prospects Guide covering all 30 farm systems, included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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