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Troy Taylor is named the Crosscutters’ Pitcher of the Year

DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette The Williamsport Crosscutters’ Troy Taylor poses for a photo at Bowman Field on Wednesday. Taylor was named the team’s Pitcher of the Year prior to Wednesday’s game against the State College Spikes.

Troy Taylor closed out his first season of minor league ball by being named the Williamsport Crosscutters’ Pitcher of the Year.

Standing at home plate, he was joined side by side with Gabe Sinicropi, the team’s vice president of marketing and communications, along with Boomer the mascot prior to the start of Wednesday’s game against State College.

As fans settled into their seats, Taylor was presented with the Rankin Johnson Award, and he was satisfied to end his stay in Williamsport with some new hardware.

“It’s super cool. I’m honored to have that with all the hard work we’ve put in,” Taylor said about receiving his plaque. “I’ve put in some hard work, and everyone else on the pitching staff has put in some hard work. To have that chapter close on a good note, it feels really good.”

Taylor finished his summer in the MLB Draft League with an ERA of 4.10 with 50 strikeouts thrown, 12 batters walked and 54 hits allowed across 52.2 innings in the circle for the Crosscutters.

DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette The Williamsport Crosscutters’ Troy Taylor throws to home to try to get a State College Spikes runner out during Tuesday’s game at Bowman Field.

The 19-year-old became a full-time pitcher in October of 2019 during his freshman year at Long Beach State. With raw talent and a great desire to refine his craft, Taylor has seen rapid progression and has come a long way in the past year and a half.

“It’s been fun. Obviously I’ve had the help of pitching coaches like Jim Gott and my pitching coaches back home who have really helped me,” Taylor said. “I’m really happy with how far I’ve come in such a short time.”

The California native drew attention from scouts this past spring season at Cypress College. Taylor pitched 28 innings and posted an ERA of 4.82, with 23 strikeouts, 20 walks and 29 hits allowed with the Chargers.

But what kept radar guns pointed at Taylor were his mean slider and 95 mph fastball. Add solid lower half strength and a ton of upside, and he was kept well in the sights of binoculars in the stands.

The Seattle Mariners selected Taylor with the 12th pick of the 20th round of the 2021 MLB draft, but the 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander chose to return to Williamsport to improve his game further. Since then, Taylor opted not to move forward with the Mariners, who held his rights through the signing period.

Instead, Taylor will follow through with his original plan and report to UC Irvine and play more Division I ball before he declares for next year’s draft.

“I have about a month to rest my arm a little bit and get my body going,” Taylor said.

Now that his time at Bowman Field has drawn to a close, Taylor still has a couple of days left to travel with the team as the Crosscutters finish their series at State College.

Then, it’s off to the next phase of his career.

“I think this was an awesome experience,” Taylor said of his time in Pennsylvania. ” … I’ve had some ups and I’ve had some downs, but I’ve learned a ton of stuff and I’m just really grateful for this opportunity.”

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