Travelers' Taylor hitting way to redemption

Mariners outfield prospect compiles fourth straight three-hit game

Chuck Taylor has hit safely in 37 of 42 games for Double-A Arkansas this season. (Steven Van Worth/MiLB.com)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | May 31, 2017 11:37 PM

After being waived by Arizona this offseason, Chuck Taylor has the look of an All-Star right now.

The Seattle outfield prospect raised his average to a Texas League-best .386 with his fourth consecutive three-hit game in Double-A Arkansas' 7-5 loss against Midland. 

"Leading the league is cool and all, but the season's long from over and I just need to keep it going," Taylor said. "I'm feeling real comfortable at the plate."

The 23-year-old also sports the circuit's best on-base percentage (.481) and OPS (1.019). The 23-year-old has hit safely in 29 of his last 31 games and is batting .667 (12-for-18) with four doubles, a home run and seven RBIs in his last four contests. 


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"Getting waived by the Diamondbacks has something to do with how I'm going," Taylor added. "It felt pretty good that Seattle saw something in me. They noticed something they liked and the move is paying off. It's not like I'm mad at Arizona or anything, but it's a little extra motivation and adds a little bit of a spark to my game."

This hasn't marked the first impressive run for Taylor since joining Arkansas. Earlier this season, the 2012 fourth-round pick put together a 21-game hit streak that lasted from April 21-May 20. 

"I'm just having a lot of fun playing, and that was a lot of fun while that lasted," Taylor said. "When it ended, it was kind of like, 'Ah, whatever,' and I had to keep on swinging it, because people have done a lot more than 21-game hit streaks. So I couldn't dwell on it and now I'm just working on getting another one going."

Taylor led off the game with a single to right field on an 0-2 pitch from Evan Manarino (1-0). He got the better of the Midland starter again in the fifth, this time for an RBI single to left.

"I'm just finding holes. I'm not doing too much when I'm at the plate, and they're just getting through for me right now," he said. 

Video: Arkansas' Taylor doubles for third hit

With his team trailing by two runs in the ninth, Taylor delivered again with two strikes, smacking a double to right off Midland closer Kyle Finnegan.

"Finnegan's got real good stuff, so you just need to trust what you see against him," Taylor said. "I knew he had a splitter and he throws really hard. The first pitch was a ball and the next one I fouled off. Then he threw a splitter for strike two, so I knew I had to battle. That's when I really need to get the foot down and get the hands at the ball. He threw a splitter, and I got out in front and hit it for the double."

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Five of Taylor's last six hits have come with two strikes.

"When I get to two strikes, I just try to relax and throw my hands at the ball and let them do the work," the Texas native said. "I trust my eyes. It's just about being relaxed. You need to be comfortable with two strikes, so I really don't change much. If you put the ball in play, something's going to happen."

Mariners No. 22 prospect Tyler Marlette hit his fifth homer of the season and Dario Pizzano added two doubles.

Athletics No. 10 prospect Yairo Munoz jacked his third long ball of the year for the RockHounds.

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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