Blue Jays: Former players and how they are doing since the trade deadline
Samad Taylor – 2B/OF
Traded to the Kansas City Royals as part of the package for UTIL Whit Merrifield
Heading with Castillo to Kansas City was second baseman/outfielder Samad Taylor, who finished the 2021 campaign as the Blue Jays’ #15th ranked prospect.
Acquired as part of the 2017 trade deadline acquisition that sent reliever Joe Smith to Cleveland, Taylor has worked his way through the Jays organization ever since. This year, Taylor was assigned to AAA and through 70 games, the righty batter slashed .258/.337/.426 with nine home runs and 45 RBI, stealing 23 bases while hitting to a .763 OPS.
Defensively, Taylor split his time between second base (39 games) and left field (25), earning a .987 and a 1.000 fielding percentage respectively, adding one assist while working in the outfield.
Taylor has not appeared in a game since July 13th when he was with the Buffalo Bisons and has been on the IL ever since and did not appear in a game with the Omaha Storm Chasers. He appears that he will be heading to the Arizona Fall League as he was named to the Surprise Saguaros roster earlier this week.
It will be interesting to see what the Royals do with Taylor, as he is Rule 5 eligible this offseason. He was technically eligible last offseason as well before the draft was cancelled due to the CBA negotiations. A strong AFL showing will definitely help with his draft case for a shot in the MLB but he has struggled with swing and miss in his game over the past few years, although he did improve these stats this season with Buffalo.
It should also be noted that Taylor should technically be eligible for Minor League free agency this offseason under MLB Rule 9, as the 2022 campaign was his seventh season in the MiLB after starting his pro career with Cleveland in 2016. I don’t believe this changed in the most recent CBA at least and should still require a minimum of seven years of MiLB service.