Taylor spends breakout season with Fisher Cats – .

Taylor spends breakout season with Fisher Cats – .

TORONTO – Samad Taylor has divided his time in the lost summer of 2020 between his home in Sioux Falls, SD, where he trained largely on his own, and in Corona, Calif., With his parents, where he trained. sometimes struck with his pro ball-playing cousins ​​Elijah (Angels) and Isaiah Greene (acquired by Cleveland as part of the Francisco Lindor case).

A test of his progress came when the Toronto Blue Jays invited him to be part of their fall training league, and while he was there Charlie Wilson, the club’s minor league operations manager. , made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“I was asked if I wanted to play winter ball,” said the 22-year-old infielder. “I told them, ‘Hey, if you want me to play, then I’ll play.’ And he asked me if I wanted to go to Australia and I was totally into it.

Before long, Taylor started a 25-game stint with the Canberra Cavalry, using it as a springboard for a New Hampshire double-A breakout season. In 48 games, he beats .303 / .393 / .567 with 12 home runs (already a career best) and 31 RBIs while playing second base – his primary position – third base, left field and central field.

His .244 / .333 / .367 slash line in Australia may not have turned heads, but the underlying process made it successful. A gifted athlete acquired from Cleveland as part of Joe Smith’s return in 2017, he was looking to be more consistent with his swing and took steps in that direction with Canberra, where he made gains both on the field and in his perspective, too.

“Probably one of the best experiences I’ve had in life,” Taylor said. “Just seeing a whole different country during the pandemic was obviously pretty telling, how they controlled everything. We were here in quarantine, locked up and once I got out to Australia it was all open. They handled it the right way. When a case broke, they locked everything down and took care of it. It was pretty normal for the most part. “

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When he got home, Taylor made his adjustments until spring training and he has since reduced his position to plate and started using a stride he had previously abandoned.

The combination of adjustments has allowed him to “keep everything in the box as calm as possible”, and in his ongoing work with batting coach Matt Hague, it helps to eliminate the “lack of control” that was preventing him. to fully harness its power.

“The result of the consistent oscillations was the power numbers,” Taylor explained. “Staying more stacked on my back to drive the ball and (that leads to) more consistent results, in a way. So I feel like I’m in a pretty good position.

His performance so far has opened eyes across the organization at a pivotal time, as Taylor will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft this fall if he is not added to the 40-man roster. . Having already survived the initial organizational crisis created by the downsizing of minor league teams last winter, he is now heading for a placement on a big league track.

Taylor insists things as a whole are in the background for him now, a sensible approach given all that has been put on him. The outfield reps are new to him, something that started in instruction and continued in Australia, helping him progress into the type of Swiss-Army-Knife player the Blue Jays covet so much.

” I love it. Anything I can do to help my team win and stay in line, I will. It’s been quite a journey to play second, third, center, left, ”Taylor said of moving around the diamond, adding that his goal is to“ keep rocking. There’s a lot of season left, as fast as you can get in baseball is as fast as you can get down, so I stay positive and do what I do. “

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Bisons Buffalo Triple-A

Canadian John Axford, who recently signed a minor league contract, is two games away with the Bisons, recording one save in each. Receiver Danny Jansen, who caught the right-hander’s first outing, said the 38-year-old “was just throwing bowling balls” and didn’t remember “a pitch under 97. He was throwing a double seam, a curved ball and its cutter, ”Jansen added,“ but it was a heavy mix of fastball, moving it both ways. He throws hard. … Joe Panik’s trade narrowed the Blue Jays’ options at third base in case Cavan Biggio suffered another injury. When asked how the team might cover him under such circumstances, general manager Ross Atkins pointed to Kevin Smith, who has a .957 OPS and 12 home runs, the team’s highest, and Breyvic Valera, the utility with a .778 OPS. Smith is enjoying a strong rebound after going through a tough .666 OPS double-A season in 2019.… Right-handed swingman Connor Overton, who allowed just seven earned runs on 35 hits and eight walks with 34 strikeouts, is vying for an opportunity. 39.2 sleeves.

Nate Pearson, RHP
Achieved: First round, 2017 draft
Season to date: 4.74 ERA | 24.2 IP | 11 BB | 36K

Riley Adams, C.
Achieved: Third round, 2017 draft
Season to date Buffalo: 78 PA | 6 hours | .250 / .410 / .600 | 11 BB | 23 K
Season to date Toronto: 30 PA | 0 HR | .107 / .167 / .179 | 2 BB | 12 K

Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Going to the Olympics is something Simeon Woods Richardson ‘always dreamed of’, which is why his selection to the United States squad for the Tokyo Games was so meaningful to the 20-year-old. While some player development officials are debating the merits of interrupting a prospect’s season to participate in the Olympics, the right-hander intends to take advantage of his experience. “You get growth at both ends, it’s just the way you look at it,” he said. “Being with these older guys (in the USA team), guys who started scoreless games in their careers, with guys who’ve been in this league for 16, 17 years and now they’ve got a solid grasp of it. what they do and what they believe can go well in this game, absorbing as much knowledge as you can from these guys… it’s just taking pieces, learning, growing, just using your world as your library. … Injuries have hit the Blue Jays hard throughout the minors as well, and there hasn’t been a bigger blow than the fractured thumb that will sideline Gabriel Moreno for at least a month and a half.

Austin Martin, SS/CF
Achieved: First round, 2020 draft
Season to date: 181 AP | 2 hours | .272 / .392 / .388 | 24 BB | 43 K

Jordan Groshans, SS / 3B
Achieved: First round, 2018 draft
Season to date: 156 AP | 5 hours | .255 / .327 / .418 | 15 BB | 34K

Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP
Acquired: Trade with Mets in 2019
Season to date: 5.30 ERA | 35.2 IP | 19 BB | 51K

Gabriel Moreno, C.
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2016
Season to date: 145 AP | 8 hours | .373 / .441 / .651 | 14 BB | 22K

Otto Lopez, INF/OF
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2016
Season to date: 222 AP | 2 hours | .354 / .410 / .485 | 17 BB | 41K

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering all the latest news with opinions and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

Advanced-A Vancouver Canadiens

Converted wide receiver Hagen Danner continues to impress out of the box, with 17 strikeouts in 14 innings in eight appearances. He allowed seven runs, four earned, eight hits and six walks while hitting three batters. … The Canadians had a miserable spell last week at Everett, losing five of their six to the AquaSox and falling to .500 for the first time since May 12th.

Adam Kloffenstein, RHP
Achieved: Third round, 2018 repechage
Season to date: 6.52 ERA | 38.2 IP | 32 BB | 38K

CJ Van Eyk, RHP
Achieved: 2nd round, 2020 draft
Season to date: 6.31 ERA | 41.1 IP | 21 BB | 50K

Blue Jays de Dunedin

Dutch teenager Sem Robberse, one of three pitchers the Blue Jays signed in 2019 with the international bonus slot money picked up from trades from Kendrys Morales and Dwight Smith Jr., is making good progress in its first full season. The right-hander has a 4.54 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP with 44 strikeouts in 33.2 innings in nine games, seven starts. … Trent Palmer, the third-place right-hander in last summer’s draft, joined Dunedin in June and made five starts, allowing nine earned runs and 12 walks with 15 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

Orelvis Martinez, SS/3B
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2018
Season to date: 216 AP | 7 hours | .264 / .343 / .472 | 20 BB | 56K

Miguel Hiraldo, 2B/3B
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2017
Season to date: 221 AP | 3 HR | .247 / .339 / .374 | 25 BB | 49K

Zach Britton, C/OF
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2016
Season to date: 170 AP | 3 HR | .222 / .412 / .357 | 35 BB | 44K


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