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Player Outlook
Known as one of the best pure hitters from the college crop in last year's draft, Brayden Taylor had a productive debut after the Rays selected him with the 19th overall pick, but his power and strikeouts spiked. The lefty-hitting infielder slashed .242/.361/.517 with five home runs, a 31.5 percent strikeout rate and a 15.7 percent walk rate in 25 games primarily at Single-A. He may have sold out for power, but ideally Taylor will focus on establishing a plus hit tool first. He had a .941 OPS with more walks (nine) than strikeouts (seven) in 11 Cape Cod League games in 2022 and slashed .308/.430/.631 with 23 home runs and 14 steals while striking out at an 18.7 percent clip in 65 games as a junior. Taylor only grades out as an average runner, but he has stolen 48 bases successfully since he was last thrown out back in 2021 as a freshman at TCU. He is a good athlete who seemingly does everything pretty well on a baseball diamond, and he has the defensive chops to add value at second or third base. Taylor should head to High-A and could reach the majors in 2025.

Fantasy News

  • Rays' Brayden Taylor: In control at High-A

    Taylor is slashing .253/.421/.440 with three home runs and nine steals in 27 games for High-A Bowling Green. The Rays' first-round pick in last year's draft, Taylor has been at least 40 percent better than the average hitter in each league he has played in thus far. He has shown a very patient approach, with a 26.4 percent strikeout rate and a 23.1 percent walk rate. Taylor has an excellent batted-ball profile, with a 23.7 percent groundball rate, 7.1 percent infield-flyball rate, 21.3 percent Oppo% and a 36.1 percent hard-hit rate. In other words, he's hitting the ball hard and in the air with great frequency. Taylor has started 16 games at shortstop and 11 games at third base, and he should be able to move around the diamond as needed.
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