If he's even the least bit successful in his professional career, you probably won't read the name "Blake Taylor" again for at least four years.
The "upside" return from the Ike Davis trade has finally trickled into the Mets system in the form of an 18-year-old lefthander with 21 minor league innings to his name. Taylor pitched for the Gulf Coast League affilliate of the Pirates in 2013 and is likely to join the short-season Cyclones for the Mets this season. Drafted players can't be traded for a year after they've been signed, so, since Taylor was inked in mid-June, he was finally eligible to be sent to the Mets.
Here's what Baseball America says about the 6-3, 220 lb. Taylor:
"Taylor throws from a three-quarters arm slot, which makes it difficult for lefthanders to pick up his pitches.....Taylor's fastball sits at 89-91 mph, though he topped out at 94. He throws a big-breaking curveball that will likely become his out-pitch as he gains experience. His changeup, though, needs quite a bit of work."
BaseballHQ.com's Minor League Baseball Analyst pegs Taylor's potential as a No. 3 starter with an expected MLB debut of 2017.
Taylor surrendered just seven hits in his 21 innings last season, striking out 13. He walked nine, hit a batter and balked, however.
Zack Thornton, a 26-year-old righthander reliever who relies on typically excellent control, was the immediate return in the Davis deal and has been pitching (and struggling) with Triple-A Las Vegas. In 27.2 innings in the Pacific Coast League, Thornton has allowed 36 hits, including three home runs. He's walked 10 and struck out 28.