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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-50, Josh Taylor

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Another home-grown D-back, who discovered this year that BABIP giveth, and BABIP taketh away...

@Dbacks, via Twitter

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 50: Josh Taylor

  • Date of birth: March 2, 1993
  • Ht/Wt: 6’5”, 225 lbs
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Status: Non-roster invitee
  • Bats/Throws: L/L
  • 2016 MLB numbers: did not play
  • SnakePit Rating: 2.93 [pattern of votes below]

Taylor arrived in the Diamondbacks’ organization in a somewhat novel fashion. He was originally signed by the Phillies as a non-drafted free agent, but in July 2015 was dealt to Arizona. What’s unusual is that the main focus of the move was not the players, but the international bonus pool slots also swapped. Arizona gave up their #1 position, in exchange for Taylor, another prospect and Philadelphia’s #9 position. This gave the latter $2.24 million in additional money to spend. Meanwhile, the trade made sense fo us, because we were forbidden from large signings that cycle, having blown past the MLB cap with the signing of Yoan Lopez, so wouldn’t have been able to use our slot.

The 23-year-old Taylor split 2016 between High-A and Double-A, and experienced both the light and dark sides of BABIP. His 5.65 ERA for Visalia doesn’t seem impressive, but he was the victim of a .422 BABIP there. He struck out close to a batter per frame (77 in 78 IP), with a K:BB ratio better than 3:1, getting a promotion to Mobile. There he made an immediate impression, tossing a three-hit shutout in his debut appearance. Indeed, over his first six starts, he benefited from BABIP regression (.238), to post a 1.47 ERA over 30.2 innings. But the pendulum swung right back over his final six outings: a .459 BABIP bloating his ERA there to 9.38.

He’s a local kid, having been born in Phoenix, before going to Georgia College and State University. He got to enjoy a homecoming in October, being part of the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, and he started the AFL All-Star Game for his division. Taylor made six starts for the Rafters, with a 3.57 ERA over a team-best 22.2 innings, striking out 20 and walking five. Below, is a video of him in AFL action. You can also give him a follow on the Twitter @joshetaylor20.

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