The Toronto Blue Jays have a significant amount of infield prospects within the farm system, with Jordan Groshans, Austin Martin, and Orelvis Martinez leading the next wave of talent. As of right now, middle infielders make up one-third of the Blue Jays top 30 prospects, spread out amongst the different levels of the organization.
One player performing well as of late is Samad Taylor, a former Cleveland Indians prospect who was acquired in exchange reliever Joe Smith back in 2017 along with left-hander Thomas Pannone. The middle infielder/outfielder was drafted by Cleveland the year prior in the 10th round out of Corona High School in Corona, California.
Over the course of five minor league seasons, Taylor has slashed .250/.332/.407 through 1406 plate appearances across three different leagues. The California product has 31 home runs, 154 RBI, and a .740 OPS through 344 games as a professional baseball player. With the minor league season canceled last year, Taylor would take his talents down to Australia with the Canberra Calvary alongside teammate Chavez Young, where he would slash .244/.333/.367 through 105 plate appearances with two home runs, 15 RBI, and a .700 OPS.
Toronto Blue Jays prospect Samad Taylor is performing well early this season, producing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in AA and finding ways to get on base.
This year, Samad Taylor is making his first appearance in AA with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and has split time across the diamond, suiting up at second base, third base, center field, and left field for the Blue Jays affiliate. After a slow start to the season which saw Taylor collect only one hit through his first five games, the 22-year-old has found a good rhythm at the plate and is currently slashing .310/.372/.569 with eight home runs, 19 RBI, and a .941 OPS, second-best on the Fisher Cats roster.
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An athletic player with quick hands in the box and average defence up the middle, it makes sense that the Blue Jays are having him takes reps in the outfield given the amount of talent occupying the middle infield within the organization. Taylor also boasts plus speed, evidence by his 94 stolen bases in the minor leagues, which would benefit him if he were to transition into a full-time outfielder role. If he was to remain an infielder, second-base would most likely be his calling.
The right-hitting prospect was featured on the Blue Jays top prospect list in 2019 (#26) and 2020 (#30) but fell off the leaderboard to begin this season with the emergence and signings of some other prospects like Nick Allgeyer, Manuel Beltre, Austin Martin, and C.J. Van Eyk. Considering he has performed well just over a month into the AA campaign, the chances of him moving into the top prospect list again are quite high at the moment.
If Samad Taylor can keep producing in the batter’s box, he should see a bump to AAA in the near future, especially if continues to get reps in the outfield with the Bisons lacking depth with Josh Palacios out with a hand injury. After that, Taylor could be set for a potential major league debut sometime next year, or at least be knocking on the door if an opportunity arises.