Blue Jays: Get to know prospect Samad Taylor

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 14: The batting gloves and bat of Jose Bautista
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 14: The batting gloves and bat of Jose Bautista /

The Toronto Blue Jays traded reliever Joe Smith to the Cleveland Indians at the 2017 trade deadline. He was one of the few trade chips on a 1-year deal who could net a nice return at the time. The Blue Jays front office obviously knows the Indians system quite well, and they were able to snag pitcher Thomas Pannone who they’re quite high on.

However, there was another prospect in the trade that came to the Blue Jays and that is 2nd baseman Samad Taylor, who some are very high on as a hidden gem in the Blue Jays system.

Taylor is from Corona, California and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2016. After he was drafted, he went to the Arizona League Indians to finish out the 2016 season. He had a nice finish to the season and ended up with a 117 wRC+, .293 batting average, and .359 OBP in 135 plate appearances.

Taylor’s 2017 saw him start at the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in short-A ball before the move to the Blue Jays. With the Scrappers, Taylor had a fantastic 130 plate appearances with 4 home runs, 19 RBI, .300/.328/.467 slash line, and a 135 wRC+. When he came to the Blue Jays organization, he started with the Bluefield Blue Jays but only had 20 plate appearances before he was promoted to the Vancouver Canadians.

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With the Canadians, Taylor had 78 plate appearances where he hit .294/.342/.426, had a 116 wRC+ and 2 home runs with 8 RBI. As you can see, Samad Taylor is off to a very nice start to his baseball career. He’s put himself on the map and Toronto sports writer Jeff Blair said at a Pitch Talks event back in 2017 that there are some in the organization who think the Blue Jays may have a gem in Samad Taylor.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor, so now that you know the background of Samad Taylor as a player, let’s get to know him better as a person:

Brendan Panikkar (BP): You were traded to the Toronto Blue Jays this past season at the trade deadline. What was your initial reaction to the trade to the Blue Jays organization?

Samad Taylor (ST): I don’t even know my reaction, it was just a surreal moment of my life. July 31 was just a weird day for me as I was getting ready to play a game and to get a call like that is just so crazy! But now I know it is the best thing that has happened to me.

BP: You played for the Vancouver Canadians this past season following the trade. What was your favourite part of Vancouver?

ST: My favorite part of Vancouver was the fans, meeting new people, my team, and winning it all!!!

BP: Who around the MLB are you most looking forward to meeting and learning from?

ST: One person I can honestly say I want to meet in the MLB right now it would Josè Altuve because we both have the same game and I would love to just pick his brain and get tips from him.

BP: Who was your favourite player growing up in the MLB as well as your favourite team?

ST: Favorite player and team growing up it would be the NY Mets and Josè Reyes.

BP: Who has played the biggest role in your development as a baseball player to this date?

ST: My father and my Uncle Glenn have played the biggest role just on keeping me focused on the big picture!

BP: Other than baseball, what is your favourite sport that you like to watch or play?

ST: Coming up as a young child, I always loved soccer and football. I had to pick if I wanted to keep playing baseball or pick a different sport going into my 9th-grade year.

BP: Is there anyone Canadian that you’d like to meet the most?

ST: Drake and Seth Rogen

Next: Blue Jays: Five under the radar prospects for 2018

It’s very clear to me that Samad Taylor has a bright future in the MLB. He’s very young and only just beginning his baseball career, but he’s put himself on the map. Definitely, keep your eyes on his development heading into his 3rd year of his baseball career. He’s a great guy with a promising future and as you can tell from this interview, he will become a fan favourite of many.

Good luck in 2018, Samad!