Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cole Taylor signs with Angels

Like most kids, former Salt Fork standout Cole Taylor grew up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete.

This Friday in Grand Junction, Colo., Taylor will take the field in an Pioneer League contest with the Orem Owlz, a minor-league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

"It's definitely a dream come true that I'm getting this opportunity,'' said Taylor during a telephone interview Monday night from Orem, Utah. "Now, I have to realize that playing baseball is my job and I have to put everything into it if I want to continue playing baseball for my career.''

Honestly, Taylor, who is a two-time Commercial-News Player of the Year (2013 and 2014) wasn't sure if he was going to get the opportunity. After a pair of stellar seasons at Illinois-Springfield, where Taylor earned all-American honors with the Prairie Stars, the call in last week's draft never came.

Instead, Taylor went the free agency route. "After the draft, I started looking for a place to play,'' he said. "I was talking to a few of the independent teams, trying to get one of with one of them, when the Angels called me last Friday. "They offered me a spot here in Orem and I took it.''

During his career at the University of Illinois Springfield, Taylor ranks first in doubles, first in stolen bases, second in batting average, second in homers, second in RBIs, second in runs, second in hits and second in triples.

With his signing, Taylor becomes the first-ever player in Prairie Stars history to join a Major League Baseball organization.

This story appeared in the Commercial-News on June 13, 2018.

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