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Angels Catching Prospect Taylor Ward Interviews with AngelsWin.com


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Interview conducted by David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer
 
When the Angels drafted catcher Taylor Ward with their first round draft pick in June, 2015, the reaction from the front office was one of jubilation. A big cheer erupted in the draft room, as if they had won the lottery. However, many of the national pundits had a different reaction—confusion. A big question arose amongst the “experts” as to whether this was an overdraft pick. Without a doubt, the combination of these two opposing reactions led to a lot of speculation about the pick, and what it meant to long-term health of the Angels farm system.
 
In talking with many within the Angels organization, I’ve been assured that their feelings were genuine and that they were very thrilled to be able to pick Taylor Ward in the first round. According to many, this was all part of a multi-year draft plan to rebuild the overall depth and quality of the organization. As has often been the case (such as when national pundits ranked Mike Trout lower than when the Angels picked him), the Angels had their own reasons for identifying his talent, and went in a different direction than the general consensus.
 
Since signing with the Angels, Taylor Ward has done everything to silence the questions of the critics and confirm the analysis of the Angels. As of this writing, Taylor has posted a .357/.469/.439 line across two levels this season (Orem and Burlington) erasing the questions some had about his bat. He has walked more times than he has struck out (32 BBs to 15 Ks), More importantly, he has continued to show the plus arm and defense that made him a standout catcher by throwing out 34% of opposing baserunners. He is quickly becoming noticed as one of the top catching prospects in the Minor Leagues.
 
When I met Taylor Ward, I was very impressed by the quality of his responses to the interview questions. He was genuine and sincere.  More important, he was very focused on his craft and his skills. With the Angels developing a new core for their rotation, Taylor Ward makes a lot of sense for the long-term stability of the organization. He’s a quality player and a quality person.
 
Please click below to watch to our interview with Angels catcher Taylor Ward.
 

 

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So far it appears we've been wrong about Ric Wilson's 1st round selection. 

 

32 walks, 15 strikeouts across two levels. Hitting .354 overall, .365 in tougher competition in Low A Burlington. 

 

Ward has raw power now, but can you imagine a good defensive catcher with offensive upside in Anaheim? I'm stoked! 

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I don't want to rush him, but he is very advanced defensively, and is showing way more with the bat than advertised. As I said in my writeup, he came across as one of the nicest and most mature players that I have interviewed (so did Newcomb and Gatto). Everyone in Orem had nothing but praise for his work ethic and mental makeup. Off the top of my head, I could easily see him being in our top 5 prospects, and might be as high as #2 next year. I will have to think about that for a bit, as there are a couple of others who could fill those slots (2-5), but I was very impressed with Ward.

So, to answer the question, mid 2017 isn't unrealistic for him, but 2018 would be a good time line for him to be starting.

David

How far away is he? I know the Angels seem to start their college picks on the low side. As far as minor league level. Maybe 2017??

Edited by Dave Saltzer
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I don't want to rush him, but he is very advanced defensively, and is showing way more with the bat than advertised. As I said in my writeup, he came across as one of the nicest and most mature players that I have interviewed (so did Newcomb and Gatto). Everyone in Orem had nothing but praise for his work ethic and mental makeup. Off the top of my head, I could easily see him being in our top 5 prospects, and might be as high as #2 next year. I will have to think about that for a bit, as there are a couple of others who could fill those slots (2-5), but I was very impressed with Ward.

So, to answer the question, mid 2017 isn't unrealistic for him, but 2018 would be a good time line for him to be starting.

 

I knew he is from Shadow Hills High in Indio. I highly doubt he learned much there, as the desert isn't known for good baseball programs. Listening to your interview with him, i bet most of his instruction came in Florida.

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