BlueClaws Quotables: Undrafted LHP Josh Taylor

Taylor, image- Jay Floyd

Lakewood BlueClaws hurler Josh Taylor has made an impact with the Class A club in the early going this season.  Through four starts, the 22-year-old sports a 1-1 record with a 3.68 ERA while having struck out 24 and walked four in 22 innings.

After pitching in a summer showcase for college players last summer, the Phillies made an offer to the undrafted hard-throwing lefty.  Once he signed, the six-foot-five 225-pounder notched a 2-0 record without allowing a run in three relief appearances for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

Recently, I spoke with Josh, an Arizona native, about how he came to sign with the Phils last year, his pitching coach with Lakewood, Aaron Fultz, and more.  Read ahead for those quotes.

-Speaking on how the Phillies came to sign him…

I went to two years at junior college and then I signed with a Division II school out of Georgia, Georgia College, and they set me up with a summer league out in the Northwoods League.  And, from there, I got put into a showcase game and right after the game I got a call from a scout from (the Phillies) and after that, that’s what it was.  I couldn’t say no. 

-Describing his outing that the Phils first saw him…

I was pumped, because I think it’s called The Big League Dream Showcase and I got the start.  My velocity was good and I think that’s what really sent me there.  I allowed one hit, one walk, it was only an inning of work.  I mean, it was nothing special.  It was just a tall lefty throwing hard.

-Sharing details on his repertoire and velocity…

My fastball (in my first start) topped out at 95, but I’m usually 92 to 94.  I got a curve ball, slider, change up and two-seam.

-Commenting on the feedback he’s gotten from coaches in the early going this year…

They’re just saying I’m doing good.  And when I do something (Coach Fultz) doesn’t agree with, he’ll ask me- he won’t say, “Why’d you do that?”  He just says, “Okay.  What did you do?”  And whether he agrees with it or not, he says, “Here’s what I think.”  And we come to an agreement and we go from there.

-Replying on if feedback from Fultz means more because he’s been to the top level with the Phillies…

Oh, yeah.  Especially with him being left-handed and him knowing what it takes to get to the next level.  Him saying, “Why would you throw this in this count?”  Well, that’s something you think about and he obviously knows what he’s talking about.  He was successful doing what he was doing.  It is a big help.

-Speaking on what player he looked up to most as a fan, growing up…

“Big Unit”!  Randy Johnson.  Being a big D-Backs fan, he was the one I watched closely and wanted to be like growing up.  The way he carried himself on and off the field and the person he was on the mound.  He wasn’t going to give in.  He was focused every pitch and that’s something I try to mimic doing, being focused every pitch and having that- not cockiness, but that intensity and that, you know, that drive on the mound being able to say, “I’m better than you”, and get you out.

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