LOCALS IN MLB

Rays Select Former Copper Hills Standout During First Round Of 2023 MLB Draft

Jul 10, 2023, 9:50 AM | Updated: 5:01 pm

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Brayden Taylor of the Tampa Bay Rays greets Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred during the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft presented by Nike at Lumen Field on July 09, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Tampa Bay Rays selected former Copper Hills High School and TCU Horned Frogs standout Brayden Taylor during the opening round of the 2023 MLB Draft.

Tampa Bay Rays pick Brayden Taylor in MLB Draft

The MLB Draft began on Sunday, July 9. The event was held in Seattle, Washington ahead of July 11th’s MLB All-Star Game.

With the No. 19 overall pick in the MLB Draft, the Rays selected as their first pick in 2023.

“The first TCU position player to go in the first round of the MLB draft, Taylor’s eventual fit could be at either second or third base,” ESPN.com described Taylor. “His calling card is a left-handed swing that produces hard contact to all fields which helped him post an OPS over 1.000 in each of his seasons with the Horned Frogs and makes him one of the safest picks in this draft.”

 

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Taylor will join a Rays team that currently owns a 58-35 record and sits in first place in the AL East Division.

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“Taylor’s power jump — from 12 home runs as a sophomore to 23 as a junior — catapulted him into the first round and his approach is solid enough that he didn’t sacrifice much batting average to get to that newfound pop, instead just barreling baseball after baseball,” ESPN.com provided as reasoning for Taylor’s selection at No. 19 to the Rays.

The former Grizzlies star is the first player from Utah to be selected in the first round of the MLB since the Los Angeles Angels picked the University of Utah’s C.J. Cron in 2011.

RELATED: ‘I Don’t Think It’s Just PR’: Governor Cox On Efforts To Land MLB, NHL In Utah

Brayden Taylor before the MLB Draft

After a standout prep career at Copper Hills, the West Jordan, Utah native decided to play college baseball at TCU.

Taylor played for the Horned Frogs from 2021-23. During his three-year college career, the former Utah high school standout owned a batting average of .315 and an on-base percent of .442. Taylor recorded 186 runs, 218 hits, 40 doubles, five triples, 48 home runs, 173 runs batted in, 158 walks, and 39 stolen bases. He had 692 at-bats in 184 games played.

Taylor’s 48 home runs are a TCU school record.

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Rays Select Former Copper Hills Standout During First Round Of 2023 MLB Draft