A former two-sport star at Torrance (Calif.) High who signed with the Brewers as a second-round pick in 2012, Taylor established himself as one of the organization’s top prospects early in his pro career before reaching Double-A in 2015 and struggling at the level for the better part of two seasons. He re-tooled his swing after the season and looked like a different hitter when he returned from a hamstring injury in June 2017. He broke out in earnest the next year, racking up 52 extra-base hits including 20 homers in his first Triple-A campaign to earn a spot on the Brewers’ 40-man roster, and received his first big league callup last September in his eighth professional season.
A hit-over-power player for much of his career, Taylor had never hit double-digit home runs in a single season until 2018, after he had revamped his right-handed swing. With a better contact point and launch angle, Taylor was able to consistently tap into the raw power that he had shown flashes of in previous years and did so without detracting from his strong contact skills and average hitting ability. Injuries have cost Taylor some of his speed, but he’s still an above-average runner who moves very well once underway.
An above-average defensive outfielder, Taylor has the range and instincts to play center field and enough arm strength for left and right. That defensive ability along with his newfound production at the plate translates to the type of prototypical fourth-outfielder profile that could help stick on a Major League roster for a long time.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 40
A former two-sport star at Torrance (Calif.) High, Taylor was selected by the Brewers in the second round of the 2012 Draft and signed for $750,000. He made his full-season debut the following year and paced the Florida State League with 36 doubles while stealing 22 bases as a 20-year-old in '14. The move up to Double-A proved a challenge for Taylor, and he regressed further in his return to the Southern League in '16. He re-tooled his swing that offseason and looked like a different hitter in '17 when he returned from a hamstring injury in June. Advancing to Triple-A last season, Taylor put himself back on the big league radar with a breakout offensive performance that earned him a spot on Milwaukee's 40-man roster in November.
Taylor is both athletic and toolsy, with an overall feel for the game that has long impressed evaluators given his multi-sport background. While he's always shown solid hitting ability thanks to a combination of bat speed and advanced bat-to-ball skills, leading to solid batting averages, Taylor had never hit double-digit home runs in a single season until 2018, when he delivered 20 bombs in his first Triple-A campaign. The significant uptick in power was a product of Taylor's revamped swing, as he attacked the ball at a better angle and hit the ball in the air more consistently than at any other point in his career.
Taylor is an above-average runner but doesn't steal as many bases as he once did. His speed still serves him well across all three outfield spots, however, and he's long been praised by club officials for his instincts and range. And while Taylor has only average arm strength, his throws are very accurate and netted him 18 outfield assists in 2018.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 35 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
A former two-sport star at Torrance (Calif.) High, Taylor was selected by the Brewers in the second round of the 2012 Draft and signed for $750,000. He made his full-season debut the following year and moved up to Class A Advanced Brevard County in 2014, where, at age 20, he paced the Florida State League with 36 doubles while also stealing 22 bases. His performance was less consistent last season at Double-A Biloxi, and his struggles continued during his return to the Southern League in 2016.
Taylor is both athletic and toolsy, with an overall feel for the game that has long impressed evaluators given his multi-sport background. A right-handed hitter, he has good bat speed, advanced bat-to-ball skills and a knack for pounding the gaps. The Brewers tried to get him to generate more power last season by adjusting his setup and stride, though it only detracted from his natural hitting ability. Taylor's best tool is his above-average speed, but he's still learning how to be an efficient basestealer. His speed also serves him well in center field, where he's an instinctual defender with good range.
Though he took a step back last season in Double-A, the Brewers believe he'll make the necessary adjustments to push through those struggles. He still has a chance to develop into a big league regular in center field, though scouts seem to be a bit more leery after his drop-off in production at the Double-A level.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
Two-sport athletes are supposed to be slow to develop, since they don't focus on one sport as amateurs. The Brewers have been pleasantly surprised by how quickly Taylor's game has advanced, as he backed up a solid first full season with a strong 2014 in the Florida State League at age 20.
A former running back in high school, Taylor is as athletic as they come, with tools aplenty. He has excellent bat speed and makes consistent hard contact to all fields. He doesn't have a ton of over-the-fence power, but he hits the gaps consistently. He doesn't strike out much, but he needs to walk more if he wants to be a more complete top-of-the-order catalyst. Taylor has above-average speed. That, and his aggressive style of play, makes him a dangerous baserunner. His speed plays well in center field, as does his solid throwing arm.
Taylor has come a long way in a short time. The Brewers are excited that he might just be scratching the surface of his enormous potential.
A two-sport star in high school, Taylor's raw tools and athleticism led Milwaukee to select him in the second round in 2012. Able to focus solely on baseball for the first time, the former prep running back took off in '13, his first full professional season.
Taylor is an elite athlete, and he takes advantage of his above-average speed in all phases of the game. His speed is more of a weapon than his power, but he generates enough bat speed to drive balls into the gaps. As Taylor gets more experience, his speed is good enough to make him a good defensive center fielder.
Taylor still has a ways to go, but the early returns have been encouraging for Milwaukee.
Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 3/5 | Power: 3/4 | Run: 6/6 | Arm: 5/5 | Field: 5/6 | Overall: 4/5
A two-sport standout coming from the California high school ranks, Taylor has some considerable tools to work with. Most of them are raw, as he's focusing on baseball only for the first time, but it's not like he came to the Brewers with no feel for the game at all. A premium athlete, Taylor has above-average speed that should play well on the basepaths and in center field. Power might not be a huge part of his game, but he has good bat speed that should help him be a decent all-around hitter, perhaps with some extra-base pop. It may take some time, but the Brewers have had some success in developing hitting prospects in the past.