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Taylor Teagarden Profile

Teagarden was a bit of a story in 2005 after being drafted out of the University of Texas. The righty catcher hit the ground running in Spokane. He had been drafted as a defense and batting average/OBP player in the third round. However he smacked 7 home runs and drew 23 walks in a mere 96 at bats. Sample size be damned, that's a nice little show of secondary skills for a guy who didn't exactly pose a potent long ball threat in college. Baseball America loved him and ranked him as the #9 prospect in the Rangers system before this season.

Unfortunately he underwent Tommy John surgery after the 2005 season. The surgery, along with a stress fracture in his back cost him his 2006 season.

The stats paint a picture of a hitter who has good plate discipline. I think the slugging percentages from 2005 with both UT and Spokane are a bit misleading. He isn't a power hitter. Spokane is a bit of a hitter's park and he's more advanced than the competition. He should be able to hit for a passable average and he might rap some doubles into the gaps. He's not a particularly strong bat, but adjusted for position he isn't a bad one. Teagarden's calling card as a player has been his defense. He has a quick release, a strong arm, he's well regarded for his ability to block the plate, dig balls out of the dirt, and call a game. There literally is nothing that scouts don't like when it comes to his defense. When coupled with his batting, this is the picture of an ideal backup catcher. The elephant in the room here is the injury issues. If he loses some of his defensive ability, he's a much less appealing prospect. If it forces him back from behind the plate, it makes him a non-prospect as he doesn't have the bat to make it as a 1B/DH. If he comes back from the injuries as good as new, then he's a decent but not great prospect.

If you want to picture his ceiling, think Jason LaRue with a few more walks and a few less home runs. The downside is Guillermo Quiroz. For a midrange, you can look for maybe something on the order of Yadier Molina.