- Full name Taylor James Cole
- Born 08/20/1989 in Simi Valley, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Brigham Young
- Debut 08/09/2017
Drafted in the 29th round (889th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
View Draft ReportBrigham Young righthander Taylor Cole was rated the No. 79 in the country heading into the 2007 draft, as a senior at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas. He slipped to the 26th round and headed to JC of Southern Nevada, where he fell even further to the 31st round in 2008. Cole then spent 2009 and 2010 on a Mormon mission in Toronto. He returned and pitched well this year, sitting in the 90-92 mph range early and touching 94. He mixed in a slider and changeup. He tired down the stretch, with his fastball dipping down to the mid-80s at times, which isn't shocking from a player who took two years off. While Cole is athletic, he doesn't have a workhorse frame at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. He could go off the board as high as the fifth round to a team that saw him good this year and remembers him touching 96 mph out of high school.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Cole was a top 100 draft prospect as a prep senior in Las Vegas, but signability questions and concerns over the timing of his Mormon mission dropped him to the 26th round in 2007. (He fell to the 31st round out of JC of Southern Nevada in 2008.) After taking his two-year mission, he wound up at Brigham Young, and the Blue Jays got him in the 29th round in 2011. Cole has not recaptured the electric fastball he had in high school, instead sitting with a solid 90-92 mph heater at high Class A Dunedin that was more consistently firm as the 2014 season went along. It tends to be fairly straight, so Cole has to continue to refine his good control into command. His out pitch is his plus changeup, which helped him lead the minors with 181 strikeouts. A two-way player in high school who played shortstop, he has maintained his above-average athleticism, which helps him repeat his delivery and field his position well. His slider has improved to become a solid-average pitch that he can get swings and misses with along with his changeup. He had a two-start cameo at Double-A New Hampshire and should return there for 2015.
Minor League Top Prospects
It's easy to write off Cole and take his NWL dominance--he led the league in ERA (0.81), WHIP (0.80) and opponent average (.161)--with a grain of salt. After all, he's a 23-year-old drafted in the 29th round who was repeating the league. Dig a little deeper, though, and Cole he intriguing. Cole was old for the NWL because he served a two-year Mormon mission in Toronto. If he can regain a little of the 94-96 mph velocity he flashed prior to the mission, he'll enhance his prospect status significantly. Even if he doesn't, he could return to Toronto as a No. 5 starter because of his feel for pitching. Cole throws three average pitches: an 89-91 mph fastball, a tight slider and a changeup with good fade. He throws strikes and keeps the ball down in the zone. He didn't surrender a home run all summer and yielded just six extra-base hits in 66 innings.