- Full name Taiwan T. Easterling
- Born 02/24/1989 in Jackson, MS
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Florida State
- Drafted in the 27th round (819th overall) by the Chicago Cubs in 2011 (signed for $150,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Marlins drafted Easterling in the sixth round out of a Mississippi high school in 2007, but he turned them down to play football at Florida State. A wide receiver, he caught 108 passes in the three seasons with the Seminoles. He didn't return to the diamond in 2010, going just 3-for-23 (.130) but enticing the Marlins to draft him again, this time in the 31st round. He skipped spring football in 2011 to focus on baseball, played semi-regularly as a redshirt junior and surprised the football program by signing for $150,000 after Chicago selected him in the 27th round. Like Matt Szczur the year before, Easterling surprised the Cubs by how little rust he had after juggling two sports in college. Despite having just 138 at-bats in four years at Florida State, he handled low Class A pitching in his pro debut, showing the hand-eye coordination to repeatedly barrel the ball. The ball explodes off his bat in batting practice, so he has the chance to develop average power. He'll need to improve his plate discipline, though that should come with more experience. Easterling was a plus-plus runner before rupturing his Achilles tendon in February 2009 and has lost maybe a half-step since. He's not particularly quick out of the batter's box but can create havoc on the bases. He's a fearless defender in center field and has solid arm strength to go with his plus range. Chicago can't wait to see how Easterling performs in his first full pro season, which he'll spend in high Class A.