Could Taylor Ward Play in The Majors This Season?

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Updated: February 4, 2017

The Los Angeles Angels catching prospect Taylor Ward is quickly moving through the minor leagues. The Angels gave Ward a non-roster invite to Spring Training this season. Could Ward make an appearance in the Major Leagues in 2017?

Taylor Ward was drafted by the Angels in the 1st round of the 2015 June Amateur Draft. The 23-year-old catcher has played well through two minor league seasons, but has yet to reach Double-A or Triple-A. Ward has impressed the Angels enough for them to invite him to Spring Training.

In 2016 Ward hit .249/.323/.337 with ten home runs and 56 RBI in 123 games. Ward spent the entire 2016 season in the California League, but made strong improvements. Ward was able to add strength without damaging his approach at the plate.

Ward also made major improvements defensively and many scouts believe his defense and arm strength behind the plate are his best attributes. Throwing out 38% of base runners in 2016 and only committed five errors in 90 games at catcher.

Ward needs more work in the minor leagues especially game-calling and receiving behind the plate. Defense first type catchers are usually looked as backup catchers, but the Angels believe Ward could be a special player. Selecting him in the 1st round was a bold move by the organization.

Currently the Angels have Carlos Perez and Martin Maldonado as their projected catchers heading into 2017. If injuries occur or a lack of production forces the Angels’ hand we could see Ward in the MLB this season. Most likely Ward will need another full season in the minors. The 3rd ranked prospect in the Angels farm system according to MLB.com could find his way on the Major League club this season.

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