Dominique Taylor is no stranger to accolades. He’s received a few.
At Northridge High School he set career records for most hits (120) and highest batting average (.578), as well as making all-area first team and all-state second team (twice each). He was first team all-conference as a freshman and sophomore while at Salt Lake Community College, where he was named conference tournament MVP in 2012. Taylor also holds the career marks at SLCC for hits with 151 and RBIs with 104, in addition to the all-time mark in stolen bases with 56.
After being drafted in the 33rd round by the Houston Astros in 2011, Taylor transferred to UC Irvine and never missed a beat. Starting all 55 games in the 2013 season, he scored 42 runs, batted .309 and drove in 34 runs for the Anteaters. That same year, the Kansas City Royals rewarded his perseverance by drafting Taylor in the 15th round.
His first pro experience in 2013 appeared to offer little challenge, as he batted .322 with 37 RBIs, eight homers and 13 steals for the Idaho Falls Chukars in the rookie-level Pioneer League. The Chukars went on to win the league championship against the Helena Brewers, with Taylor finishing fourth in the league in batting average.
Those are the numbers, and they speak for themselves.
The 2014 baseball season has added one more honor to this list, as the 22 year-old outfielder — playing for the Lexington Legends — was recently named to the Class-A South Atlantic League’s All-Star Team.
"Well this was my first All-Star appearance since little league, so that made it even more special," Taylor said.
In professional baseball, the Class-A level is the first full season that many players have to endure. Indeed, as a minor-league pro, a full season of baseball means at least 140 games and very few off days.
"The bus rides are rough," Taylor acknowledged, "and being away from family isn’t easy either, but I’ve got to make sacrifices to make it to the big leagues.
"That’s the ultimate goal, so that I can take care of my family in the long run."
Terence and Daphne Taylor, Dominique’s parents, are naturally quite proud of their son. They were thrilled to hear of his All-Star selection, as well.
"He truly loves the game and is so thankful for having the opportunity to play," said the Taylors. "We are certainly blessed for Dominique to have such an honor and opportunity to go to the all-star game and represent his team."
Taylor’s on-field approach is just as simple. "I always look [for the] fastball and try my absolute best to hit the ball hard somewhere in the gap, preferably," he added. In addition to his line-drive stroke, Taylor is one of the fastest outfielders and baserunners in the Royals organization. Baseball America’s annual Prospect Notebook recently noted that Taylor was the fastest player drafted by the Royals in 2013.
"UC Irvine prepared me well for the next level," Taylor said.
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