- Full name Andrew Raymond Taylor
- Born 08/18/1986 in Durham, NC
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: L
- School North Carolina State
- Debut 09/27/2012
- Drafted in the 34th round (1,039th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels in 2008.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Taylor made only one start in three years at North Carolina State, but the Angels tinkered with him in that role here and there over parts of his first four pro seasons after signing him for $45,000 as a 34th-round pick. He got hammered as a starter in Double-A in 2011, so they moved him back to the bullpen full-time last season and he got to the majors for three appearances in September. Taylor has a high-effort delivery, but his game is more about keeping hitters off balance than power. His fastball sits around 88-89 mph and touches 91. He can get sink and tail on his fastball, but when he leaves it up it flattens out and gets pounded. Taylor likes to pitch backward by leaning on his slider, an average pitch with late break. He has a changeup but rarely uses it because it doesn't have enough separation from his fastball to be effective. Taylor struggled with his control both in Triple-A and the big leagues, and he'll have to throw more strikes to carve out a role as a situational lefty.
Taylor made only one start in three years at North Carolina State, but after signing for $45,000 as a 34thround pick in 2008, he showed potential as a three-pitch lefty. Intrigued, the Angels gave him a brief spin in the Rookie-level Orem rotation during his pro debut, but he imploded in that role. After successfully climbing three levels to Double-A as a reliever, Taylor asked the Angels if he could try starting again. He made four abbreviated starts at the end of the 2010 season, going 1-1, 4.05 but with 13 strikeouts and 10 walks in 20 innings. Taylor throws a firm 91-94 mph fastball with nice run and two promising secondary pitches: a low-80s changeup and a short, late-breaking mid-80s slider. He's death on lefthanders with his fastball and slider--they went 29-for-181 (.160) against him in the past two seasons--and he keeps righties in check with his fading changeup. Taylor's herky-jerky, head-snapping delivery provides camouflage for his pitches. He didn't trust his fastball in college but has learned to pitch off the heater as a pro. With better command, Taylor would profile as a mid-rotation starter, but it remains to be seen if he'll develop the feel for pitching to avoid life as a situational reliever. He'll see Triple-A for the first time in 2011.