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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Will Taylor turned switch-hitter, saw eight pro seasons; Eighth came nine years after last

The Padres hoped to expand Will Taylor's skill set in 1988, but he got off to a slow start, his hometown Alexandria Town Talk wrote.

The Padres did so by moving to make the speedy outfielder a switch-hitter, The Town Talk wrote.

"I didn't understand it (the switch, but now I do," Taylor told The Town Talk in April 1989. "Last year I had a lot of ups and downs, but now I'm making contact every time up."

Taylor went on from that experiment to play in five more pro seasons. He made AAA, but he fell short of the majors.

Taylor's career began in 1986, taken by the Padres in the second round of the draft out of Alexandria High in Louisiana. He was also credited as William Taylor.

He started with the Padres at short-season Spokane. He hit .282 in 59 games. He then moved to single-A Charleston for 1987. He hit .288 over 120 games and stole 56 bases.

Taylor then made single-A Riverside for 1988 and the switch-hitting experiment. He hit .183 over 112 games. He returned to Riverside for 1989 and upped his average to .255 and swiped 60.

He made AA Wichita for 1990, then AAA Las Vegas in 1991. He hit .259 at Las Vegas and stole 62. But he didn't see San Diego.

Taylor started 1992 at Las Vegas, then moved to the Mariners system. He briefly saw AAA Calgary with them, but then got shipped to high-A Peninsula.

That spring, he thought he might have a shot at making the majors, The Newport News Daily Press wrote. Instead, he eventually found himself at high-A.

''I'll tell you, I'm just praying for better luck next year,'' Taylor told The Daily Press. ''If I had this year to do over, there's a lot of things I'd do differently. Right now, I can play, but I'm just trying to do whatever I can to take care of my body.''

Taylor hit .223 in 64 games at Peninsula. He didn't return for 1993. He made a brief trip to Japan, but didn't return to field until nine years later, in 2001, in the independent All-American League. He played at Baton Rouge and Alexandria. 

"The way I left, everybody wondered why I didn't go back," Taylor told The Town Talk in July 2001. "I wanted to stay at home and be with my family, but I missed baseball. I wanted to see if I still have it. I think I've played good."

Taylor hit .270 in 55 total games that year to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,486
Made the Majors:1,216-34.9%
Never Made Majors:2,270-65.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:504
10+ Seasons in the Minors:299

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