Philadelphia outfield prospect Michael Taylor has earned a recent promotion to Triple-A Leigh Valley after a dominating stint in Double-A. Taylor, a former 5th round selection in 2007 out of Stanford University, was third in the Eastern League with a .333 average and OPS of .977 was 252 points above the league average.
Taylor entered the season ranked as the Phillies sixth-best prospect and best power hitter according to Baseball America. So far this season he has lived up to the billing.
Taylor is quite the physical specimen, listed at 6’6 and 250 pounds, and his combination of speed (19 stolen bases in 23 tries) and power (16 home runs and .236 ISO) make him an interesting prospect to watch for. He has also shown the ability to draw walks and get on base. He had a walk rate of nearly 10 percent and a wOBA of .438 in Double-A this season.
This comes after a breakout season last year in which batted .341/.408/.553 with 19 home runs between the South Atlantic League and the Florida State League, both of which are generally regarded as pitchers-friendly leagues.
His power numbers are up slightly this year due to his increased fly ball percentage (up to 41.3 this season from 33.7 last year). This has also caused his home run percentage to climb to 3.9 to 4.8.
Taylor has appeared in just five games thus far in Triple-A and has managed only three hits (one home run). However, his promotion comes at an interesting time as his name is being brought up in recent trade talks. Taylor could become trade bait as the deadline looms closer.