#29 Jason Taylor
Drafted: 2nd Round, Pick #45 in 2006 Rule IV Draft
School: Floyd E. Kellam High School (VA)
I have no doubt that my decision to rank Taylor so high on this list will be questioned by some. However, Taylor intrigues me a great deal and coming into the season Baseball America had him ranked even higher at number 17. Taylor only played in 62 games in 2010 due to a suspension for drug use. Also, Taylor missed the entire 2007 season to a suspension as well. If both were drug related as I believe then Taylor has one strike left before he will be gone forever. Hopefully Taylor can straighten out his personal life and let his talents on the diamond develop as they should.
After playing short stop in high school Taylor has played the corner infield spots in pro ball. Personally, I think Taylor should be moved into left field where the Royals system is thin compared to the third and first base. This past season the power numbers dropped from his 2008 numbers when he led the minor leagues in home runs for players with 40 or more stolen bases. Taylor displays average speed and maybe even slightly below that, but according to Baseball America he does a fantastic job of reading pitchers and is extremely aggressive on the bases.
Taylor also has great plate discipline compared to others in the system and for his career he has posted an obp of .369 with a k:bb of 161:135. Taylor should start the 2010 season in Wilmington at third base. He strikes me as a guy who could potentially move quickly if certain aspects of his game begin to click. I feel this way because of his advanced hitting approach at the plate. It is my hope that he can straighten out his life and if he does it would be within the realm of possibility that he could one day play an average corner spot and post 15-20 steals and homers annually with a triple slash somewhere around .260/.370/.430. If he can do that he would definitely justify the #29 spot on this list.