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Top Draft Prospects – Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates

Jameson Taillon, a twenty-one-year-old right-handed pitcher, was acquired by the New York Yankees from the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league reliever Ryan Matthes. The acquisition was made as part of a package deal involving lefty reliever Jarred Cosart and right outfielder prospect Alexi Coleman. The trademarked one of the more surprising turnarounds in recent baseball history. It also marked the first significant transaction on the New York Yankees’ offseason roster. The Yankees were reportedly offering a package of players that included catcher Derek Jeter and righty reliever Andy Pettitte in return for Taillon.

The acquisition of Jameson Taillon was expected to be a relatively straight forward move. It marked the first positive sign that the Yankees had been pursuing a possible overhaul of their lineup in the off-season. Though it was expected that the deal would be finalized at the draft’s conclusion, late reports indicated that the two sides were still negotiating. A report from Jon Heyman of NBC Sports suggested that the Yankees were still holding out hope of completing a deal with the Phillies as early as September 4th. The deal was eventually announced at the end of the August regular-season schedule.

A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Taillon enjoyed a breakout junior career at the University of Missouri. He played three years at the College of Notre Dame before transferring to the university, where he earned All-Big Ten First Team honors in each of his two seasons there. He was also named to the All-MAC team following the 2021 campaign. Injuries plagued the right-handed pitcher during his time at Mizzou, causing him to miss the entire 2021 season. A strong arm in his hands, Jameson pitched a no-hitter and a complete game against eventual MAC champion Bowling Green.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Jameson Taillon’s professional experience has taken him all across the baseballing world. A former standout pitcher for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, he was traded by the organization after going 3-6 with a 4.00 earned run average in 24 starts for New York. Before the move, he had been sold to the Atlanta Braves as part of a six-player package for Craig Kimber. After appearing in seven games with the Braves, he was released by the club the next day. A strong arm in college, Taillon has been known to have excellent pitching capabilities and has impressed many with his performance thus far. Sporting a 55-mile hour fastball, he should offer a significant upgrade over the previous hitters the Yankees had used in their outfield positions.

A native of Philadelphia, Jameson Taillon spent the last four seasons playing professionally in Japan. Injuries limited his ability to pitch in the United States in the minors, but he did manage to appear in three postseason games and made two starts. Injuries have plagued pitchers in several different situations over their careers, which played a large role in determining the result. Unlike pitchers like CC Sabathia or Michael Jordan, who can walk away from a job with virtually no physical damage done to them, top prospects like Taillon have to give a lot of the burden of success to the team around them. Even though he suffered an ankle sprain in his Grapefruit League start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in June, he is still slated to begin the majors’ 2021 season.

Over the last few years, Jameson Taillon has been compared to some of the game’s best pitchers. Because of this, some draft experts have projected him as being a top-five pick in upcoming MLB drafts. The consensus seems that unless a team stumps that a top prospect, they will still likely draft him. In addition to pitching in the minors, Jameson has also listed in the big leagues for Team USA during the World Baseball Classic.

Like many other 2021 draft class members, Jameson Taillon suffered through a disappointing season in his career. However, he showed signs that he was still determined to prove himself to the big leagues’ teams. After going 4-5 with a 3.00 ERA in his first six starts, some fantasy experts started wondering if he was destined to be a fringe player on an already crowded roster. However, after a good performance against the Angels in his next start, he was named to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game. While he didn’t play in the outfield in his fourth or fifth career, he made one appearance as a pinch-hitter and got on base. He is still no lock to become a top pitching prospect in the field, but he earned the chance to shine during the postseason.

Like many young pitchers, Jameson Taillon could very well end up as a reliever in the future. He has the physical tools to become a successful lefty, although he has also been known to have issues throwing too hard when pitching in high-level games. Most experts will tell you that it is more important for pitchers to develop their secondary pitches than their primary ones because they require a different learning curve. But it is still encouraging to see players like Jameson Taillon who have the physical tools to become successful in the minors because there are not many pitchers with the kind of arm talent he possesses. If he continues to develop into a quality starter, then fantasy players may have another top pitcher to target shortly.

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