2023 College World Series Player Spotlight: Brayden Taylor


Image credit: Brayden Taylor (Ken Murphy/Four Seam Images)

TCU third baseman Brayden Taylor has established himself not only as a consensus first-round draft pick, but as a name that TCU fans will remember forever. Taylor arrived in Fort Worth in the fall of 2021 as a freshman who was projected to be an everyday contributor for the Horned Frogs. The wiry infielder spent time at both second base and shortstop before finding his home over at the hot corner. Taylor’s trademark swing and highly advanced approach from the left side were on display from day one. In his freshman season, Taylor hit .324 with 11 doubles, 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in 58 games played. Even more impressively, he walked (49) more than he struck out (46). Taylor was named the Big 12 freshman of the year and was a unanimous freshman All-American for his performance. Rather than take the summer off or work out on his own, Taylor made his way up to the Cape Cod League, the best collegiate summer league in the country. For a freshman, he more than held his own; he hit .269 with eight extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in 26 games. 

Taylor’s sophomore season was nearly a carbon copy of his rookie campaign. He was remarkably consistent, finishing the year with a .314 average to go along with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 50 RBIs. Taylor’s approach also improved, as he walked an impressive 55 times compared to 40 strikeouts. His standout season and track record earned him an invitation to Team USA’s Collegiate National Team, where he enjoyed a strong summer for the red, white and blue. 

This year, Taylor got off to an uncharacteristically slow start. After a strong first few weeks that included a 7-for-12 performance in the Horned Frogs’ opening series, the junior third baseman cooled off and was hitting just .233 on March 26. However, he finished the regular season tearing the cover off the ball and as of today is hitting .307 with 15 doubles, a TCU single-season record of 23 home runs and a career-best 69 RBIs. He went 8-for-16 with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs in the Horned Frogs’ run to a Big 12 title and was 8-for-14 with 10 RBIs and a pair of home runs in TCU’s 3-0 run through the Fayetteville Regional.

Not only is Taylor a star on the field, but his makeup off of it is outstanding. In a recent interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos said, “One of the things you look for is when your quote-unquote best player is also one of your most well-liked players, every single guy on our team is generally excited for everything that Brayden has gotten.”

It seems fitting that Taylor’s illustrious career will come to an end on college baseball’s biggest stage under the brightest lights. In TCU’s win over Virginia on Sunday, Taylor doubled and played strong defense over at third base. The Horned Frogs on Tuesday have a rematch with Oral Roberts, where they will look to avenge their game one loss.

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