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2021 MLB Draft Profile: Will Taylor

Would the Clemson football and baseball signee forgo his collegiate opportunities if the Marlins picked him?

@anchorbatco/Twitter

Overview

Position: OF

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 175 pounds

School: Dutch Fork High School

Commitment: Clemson

Will Taylor is a top high school outfield prospect out of Irmo, South Carolina and plays his high school ball for the Dutch Fork Silver Foxes. Taylor is one of the most athletic and interesting prospects in the 2021 MLB Draft.

At 6’0”, 175 pounds, Taylor is a medium sized but well-built prospect that possess great athleticism and work ethic. Taylor is a three-sport star athlete but signed to play college football and baseball for the Clemson Tigers.

Being a football recruit makes his draft stock very difficult to address as he could possibly want to play football for Clemson and a team doesn’t want to waste a first or early second round pick on Taylor. However, Taylor is a top draft prospect due to his elite speed and plus defensive abilities.

At the plate, Taylor is a right-handed hitter that makes solid contact to all fields but also does a good job of making in game adjustments. He does have some power potential but with his speed, he’ll likely be a player that has more gap-to-gap power than other the fence power.

On the defense, Taylor is a center fielder with the range and arm strength to stay in that position. He makes good reads in the outfield that help him cover a ton of ground. He’s also a dangerous baserunner who’s very smart and can really create some havoc on the base paths.

Strengths

  • Elite speed
  • Smart base runner
  • Plus defender
  • More advance than your usual multi-sport athletes
  • Good approach at plate
  • Barrels ball well and with consistently
  • Drives the ball well up the middle
  • Short, impact swing

Weaknesses

  • Power needs to improve
  • Very raw
  • Average-to-below average arm strength

Pro Comparison: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Projection: First Round Draft Pick


Bottom Line

The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are focused on position players with the No. 16 and No. 31 overall picks in the 2021 MLB Draft. Clemson football and baseball signee Will Taylor could be their answer.

Taylor has done a great job of rising on team’s draft boards with a very nice senior season in which he showcased his elite speed, great athleticism and feel for hitting. The South Carolina native might not be a 25-30 home run hitter but he projects to be a solid contact hitter that drives to ball to all fields especially up the middle.

Taylor is expected to command a decent amount of money to sign him. The Oakland A’s drafted Kyler Murray ninth overall ($4.66 million signing bonus), for example, but he returned to Oklahoma for football, became a Heisman Trophy winner and decided to pursue a career on the gridiron. The Marlins front office needs to be confident that they’ll be able to sign him before selecting him.