Scouting Report, Jameson Taillon

Jameson Taillon was the second overall pick in 2010 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, which is significant in itself, but even more so when considering he was a right-handed pitcher just graduating from high school. This is meaningful because right-handed high school pitchers are rarely taken in the first round because they carry such a sizable amount of risk. However, Taillon impressed the Pirates so much so that they were willing to take this risk and Taillon has rewarded them with two impressive professional seasons. Although the first pitcher we scouted, Dylan Bundy, was also a right-handed high school pitcher, these two top prospects are certainly exceptions to the rule. In Taillon’s second professional season, 2012, he pitched to a 3.55 ERA over 142 innings in High Single-A and Double-A combined. These numbers are not overwhelming, but are impressive for a 20-year-old playing against older players. Taillon throws four pitches including a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. His fastball reached mid-to-upper 90’s and his slider and curveball are low-to-mid 80’s. I had the opportunity to watch him this past weekend when he pitched for Canada versus the United States in the World Baseball Classic. Taillon looked very sharp in this performance as he pitched four innings allowing one earned run and striking out three. His control of his fastball as well as his slider and curveball was very impressive. His changeup looked pretty far below average, but he has three plus pitches and good control of all three. The 6’6” Taillon’s mechanics are pretty solid. He has a long and loose arm action in back; however, his arm does go behind his back, but it should not be a problem as long as he continues to get his arm in position by foot strike. Bringing his arm behind his back could become an issue late in games as his arm gets tired and begins to lag. He has a hip tilt as he begins to go towards home plate. This tilt gives him deception as he also angles his shoulders, and this incline gets him good downward plane towards home plate. I believe Taillon will begin the season at Triple-A and with a strong season could make the Major Leagues when rosters expand in September.

Anthony Cacchione

2 thoughts on “Scouting Report, Jameson Taillon

    • There is always a risk involved when drafting any player out of high school because the competition in high school varies so greatly across the nation. So, it is unclear if their game will transfer into professional baseball. Also there is additional risk involved in drafting a pitcher out of an level because pitchers suffer so many injuries. Right handers are especially risky because they are usually very raw and there are so many right handed pitchers that it is more safe to draft a right hander out of college rather than high school.

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