Left-hander Matt Taylor is enjoying one of the most under-the-radar strong starts to the season in the Orioles system this year with High-A Frederick, carrying a streak of 15 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run into early May.
Taylor, a 6-foot-1 product of Middle Georgia College who was drafted in the fifth round in 2011, is holding opponents to a .230 batting average en route to a 3-1 record and a 1.32 ERA in six starts this year. He allowed two unearned runs in six innings April 26, and rebounded with seven three-hit, shutout innings in a win over Myrtle Beach on May 4.
The only alarming stat from afar is his walks. Taylor has walked 18 batters and struck out just 11, with a WHIP of 1.35.
He won just four times while compiling 13 losses in 25 starts with a 3.77 ERA at Low-A Delmarva last year, and while wins are relatively meaningless, it’s likely a boon for the 23-year-old’s psyche to be reaping the rewards of his good starts.
The Carolina League has the reputation of being something of a power drain for hitting prospects — big parks like Salem and Wilmington regularly turn home runs into flyouts.
But Frederick’s Harry Grove Stadium has a reputation for balls flying out of it.
Still, the Keys have the second-fewest home runs in the league with 12. They have the second-most doubles (63) in the league, showing there’s some pop in the bats, but when the weather heats up, expect a power surge in Frederick.
Kline still dealing
Branden Kline has pitched just once since last week’s update, and he pitched around some trouble in 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and seven hits. Kline is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in six starts.
Another Davis hitting well
Outfielder Glynn Davis is second in the Carolina League with a .357 average, and he's sixth in the league with an .856 OPS. He’s batting .393 (11-for-28) in his previous seven games, with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.