It's taken a little while for Beau Taylor to get on track this season, but now that he has,\ the Texas League had better watch out.
The Athletics' No. 16 prospect smacked a grand slam and finished with five RBIs as Double-A Midland routed Corpus Christi, 14-4, on Thursday.
With the game tied in the seventh inning, 4-4. Taylor took Jorge De Leon deep over the right-field wall for the first grand slam of his career. An inning later, the 23-year-old catcher added an RBI single. He was 3-for-5 on the night.
"I was just sitting there waiting for a pitch to hit hard to the outfield. He sent me a cookie with two strikes and I was able to hit it," Taylor said. "There's not many times I've done that, but this one I knew it was out."
The Florida native is batting .225 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 24 games for the RockHounds this season. Taylor has started to turn it around recently. He's collected hits in five straight games, going 8-for-20 over that time.
"I'm just starting to feel more comfortable," the 2011 fifth-round pick said. "I have a good routine when I come to the park now. Just getting to the field early enough ... working with our hitting coach [Brian McArn] and working on certain drills and treating batting practice like a game to get my head ready to hit."
Part of the reason for his early struggles might have been the lack of playing time in April, with Taylor logging just 17 at-bats in the season's first month. The University of Central Florida product was splitting time with David Freitas, who enjoyed the bulk of the time behind the plate that month.
"It's just hard to get into a rhythm," Taylor said. "I'm not making excuses, but the game feels better when you get more plate appearances."
Taylor tied a career high with five RBIs, having plated five for Class A Advanced Stockton on May 17, 2012.
Jake Goebbert also had five RBIs for the RockHounds, slugging a ninth-inning grand slam as the RockHounds scored 10 times over the final three innings.
"Everybody was just relaxed. The game just kept going longer and longer," Taylor said. "We just wanted the game to end, but people just kept getting hits. We weren't mad, it was a good victory because Corpus is a good team."
Anthony Aliotti was 4-for-6 with a homer and three runs scored, falling a triple shy of the cycle.
Jonathan Singleton, the Astros' top prospect, drove in a run for the Hooks.