After going heavier on prep players in the early rounds of the past few drafts, Mike Shirley and the White Sox go with two players out of college in 2023. With their second-round pick, the White Sox selected LSU RHP Grant Taylor.
The White Sox farm system is in need of high-upside arms, and while Taylor didn’t pitch this past season, he has a full arsenal of above-average to plus pitches that will allow him to develop into an impact arm
Draft Pick Analysis
Grant Taylor was primarily a relief pitcher for LSU, although the plan was for him to join the starting rotation this past season. He started in the Cape Cod league, where he pitched so well that he began to gain first-round buzz. Unfortunately, he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery before that came to fruition.
When healthy, Taylor possesses a four-pitch mix that consists of a fastball that tops out at 99, a sharp cutter, a changeup, and a curveball. All four pitches at their best are at least above average, with his fastball being his most reliable pitch. During his time as a reliever in his collegiate career, Taylor struggled with his control despite his plus stuff. He utilizes a three-quarter delivery with his 6’3″ 230 lb frame and generates high spin rates on all of his pitches, especially his curveball.
The White Sox will most likely look to develop Taylor as a starter, as that was the path he was on pre-injury. Between his pitch mix, his frame, and his upside, the White Sox have a player who could very well outplay his pre-draft rankings. This strategy is very similar to their use of a second-round pick on Peyton Pallette last year, who also missed his entire junior year due to injury and was also receiving first-round buzz pre-injury. Patience will be required as Taylor focuses on getting healthy, and he won’t make his professional debut until 2024.
Name: Grant Taylor
MLB Pipeline Grades:
- Fastball: 60
- Curveball: 55
- Slider: 55
- Cutter: 60
- Control: 50
- Overall: 45
- MLB Pipeline: 102
- Baseball America: 80
- Fangraphs: NR
- Keith Law (The Athletic): 94
- Prospects Live: 79
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