Rattlers’ Taylor driven to succeed

By Jason Arndtwisconsin-timber-rattlers
Brewers Farm Report

As Milwaukee’s fourth rated prospect Tyrone Taylor heads into the off-season – his primary goal is to be focused on improving his endurance through an entire season.

In correlation with his highly regarded 2013 season and strong work ethic he will be a force to be reckoned with in 2014.

“If you work hard everyday, it shows on the field,” Taylor told Brewers Farm Report. “I feel I have done a good job of it and have a lot of good teammates.”

Taylor

Taylor

The 2012 second round selection from Torrance High School batted .274 with 33 doubles and eight home runs in 122 games for the Single A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

However, the outfielder produced a scorching stretch of games at the beginning of the 2013 season and earned him Midwest League’s Player of the Week in June.

Taylor batted .294 with 26 doubles and 15 stolen bases the first 90 games of the season. He also scored 54 runs and knocked in 45 during the stretch where he accumulated a .362 On Base Percentage.

Wisconsin’s outfielder acknowledged he became tired down the stretch after playing the most games of his life.

“We play over a hundred games in a season and it will take time. People get on bad stretches,” Taylor said. “My focus is to get stronger.”

Taylor’s last month of the season involved a stint on the seven-day disabled list for a hip flexor injury, but denied it attributed to him wearing down in August.

“It is a long season and just had a bad month,” Taylor said. “I just had to get through it and keep my head up.”

Although a promotion will be anticipated after the season, Taylor is not thinking of where he will be in 2014.

“I will not worry about the future. My main goal is to spend the offseason working out and getting stronger,” Taylor said.

Taylor notes teammates as part of success

Taylor rounds the bases with Single A Wisconsin in June 2013. The outfielder was named Midwest League's Player of the Week June 10.

Taylor rounds the bases with Single A Wisconsin in June 2013. The outfielder was named Midwest League’s Player of the Week June 10.

While Taylor made a significant jump from the preseason 11th rated prospect to fourth by the conclusion of 2013, he acknowledged his teammates for helping him through the season.

The 19-year-old outfielder gave high marks to teammates Victor Roache and Garrett Cooper, along with former Rattler Mitch Haniger.

Roache tied a franchise record with 22 home runs set by Brewers’ Khris Davis in 2010 during the 2013 season and was closest to the Brewers’ 2012 first-round selection.

Cooper’s addition to the Rattlers’ squad after the first baseman produced a stellar stretch with Pioneer League Helena.

The Brewers’ fourth round pick in the MLB draft became one of the key contributors to Wisconsin’s final playoff push leading up to the final five games.

“He does a really good job of making contact with the ball and fields pretty well. It’s insane,” Taylor said, in regards to Cooper. “He is just an all around good player.”

Cooper batted .297 with six doubles, three triples and two home runs in just 31 games for the Rattlers. He also drove in 20 runs and plated 15 for the Single A squad.

Taylor was not surprised by Haniger’s promotion to Brevard County given the Manatee player is a “smart baseball player and can hit the ball to all fields.”

Timber Rattler players witnessed an explosion following a 9-1 victory at Davenport, Iowa.

Timber Rattler players witnessed an explosion following a 9-1 victory at Davenport, Iowa. (Chris McFarland via twitter)

 

Roadside Explosion

Taylor and his teammates travel the Midwest on several hour bus trips at all hours of the night. Given the long distance between some Midwest League teams, the Rattlers depart cities immediately after night games at midnight and do not arrive home until the next morning.

But what the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers experienced after he knocked in three runs in 9-1 victory against Quad Cities in Davenport, Iowa was a rude awakening.

The Rattlers witnessed a roadside explosion which caught the entire team off guard in the middle of the night.

“That was really crazy, we were just driving by on our bus and we were half asleep and woke up,” Taylor said. “Then we saw a big light and drove by it and then saw a bunch of flames in the air.”

The first thought coming to the mind of Taylor and his teammates was the well-being of the people involved.

“We had no idea what it was and just hope no one got hurt,” Taylor said.

Teammate Chris McFarland echoed Taylor’s statement stating he hoped everyone was okay in the explosion as the team entered the state of Illinois.

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