CMU's Andrew Taylor drafted by Houston Astros in MLB Draft
After three seasons at Central Michigan, Andrew Taylor now has an opportunity to take his game to the professional level.
Taylor, a lanky 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher from Alto, was drafted 80th overall by the Houston Astros in the 2022 MLB Draft. He's the first Chippewa selected in 2022. CMU has now had at least one player selected in every draft since 2007.
MLB Pipeline ranked Taylor as it's No. 156 overall prospect heading into the Draft. D1 Baseball ranked Taylor as the No. 95 overall collegiate prospect with a fifth-round projection. Though he is viewed as a developmental prospect, his pitches are favorable from an analytical perspective.
Scouts have dubbed Taylor's fastball "invisible" due to its spin-rate and movement at the top of the strike zone, while favoring his change-up as a secondary option.
"He's got an invisible fastball," said MLB Network Draft scout Jim Callis. "He throws that fastball about 80 percent of the time. It sits 90 (miles per hour), tops out at 94, but it's got tremendous spin rates. I think the change-up is the best secondary pitch. Probably needs to develop a little bit better breaking stuff if he wants to remain a starter at the next level, but it's an invisible fastball."
According to Kris Gross, Houston's Director of Amateur Scouting, Taylor was drafted with the purpose of being developed into a major league starter.
"He can run it up to 94, I've seen him 95," Gross said via Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston. "It's a very hoppy fastball, gets a lot of swings and misses. Two average breaking balls to work with. Kid throws a ton of strikes. He's big, he's athletic. I think we can work with him and develop him into a major league starter."
After his first year was shut down after 17 games due to the COVID pandemic, Taylor broke out as a redshirt freshman in 2021. He finished 11-4 that season while setting the program record for single-season strikeouts with 125.
For his performance, Taylor was rewarded with All-American honors by several media outlets. He was the Mid-American Conference Freshman and Pitcher of the Year. His encore season in 2022 saw him break his own strikeout record, upping his total by one, and finishing 8-4 with a 3.21 ERA.