Farm Report: Owen Taylor at Home in Grand Junction, Living the Dream

TheCowboy

Owen Taylor was a 27th-round draft choice of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, but the Grand Junction native opted to get a college education and play baseball for the University of Kansas instead. He figured another opportunity would come his way.

It did. But there were some moments of uncertainty.

When he graduated from Kansas a year ago, he went undrafted, and unsigned, even as a free agent. The Rockies, however, gave Taylor the opportunity he had hoped for last spring. They brought him to minor league spring training, and kept him in extended spring, eventually assigning him to the Grand Junction Rockies, the rookie-league level affiliate of the Rockies, in Taylor's hometown.

So far, so good. Taylor is the Grand Junction starting first baseman with memories already. In his first professional at-bat, in the season opener at Ogden, he homered. In the first game at Suplizio Field, he hit another home run.

He is a long ways from the big leagues, but he is hitting .310 for Grand Junction, and in the Rockies 4-1 victory agaisnt Ogden on Monday night, he hit a two-run home run.

" I thought my baseball career came to an end," Taylor told WesternSlopeNow.com of being overlooked a year ago. "That was a hard time for me. A year later to be sitting in this ballpark a part of the Grand Junction Rockies is really special and my family was ecstatic when I got home. It was really special.”

There is a baseball background in his family. His grandfather Gene Taylor played in the Orioles organization, and his father Tony played baseball at Loyola-Marymount.

In Monday's Games:

AAA Albuquerque (45-62) was off.

AA Hartford (15-22; 52-52) was off.

Advanced A Lancaster (21-17, 55-51) was off.

A Asheville (20-18, 49-59) won 4-1 at Hickory (Red Sox). Frederis Parra (1-1, 3.23) continued to make good on his return to the Tourists. Parra, who opened the season with the team but was sent to short-season Class A Boise, has returned to Asheville with three strong starts, compiling a 1.74 ERA in those games. He has allowed four runs in 20 2/3 innings since rejoining the Tourists. PJ Poulin earned his sixth save. Coco Montes (.262) doubled home a run, and scored on a two-run double from Grant Lavigne (.239). Kyle Datres (.267) finished the scoring with an RBI single.

Advance A Boise (4-3, 19-26) won 11-9 against Vancouver (Blue Jays). Aaron Schunk (.329) hit two home runs, giving him six for the season, and drove in three runs. Michael Toglia (.233) hit his seventh home run. Will Ethridge (7.36) started and allowed four runs on four hits and a walk, striking out two in three innings. Stephen Jones (2-0, 5.40) pitched a shutout inning, allowing one hit and striking out one, for the win. Jacob Wallace (1.93) earned his eighth save.

Rookie Grand Junction (3-0, 22-19) won 4-1 against Ogden (Dodgers). Christian Koss (.398) hit his seventh home run in the first, and doubled home a run in the third. Taylor homered in the second. Trysten Barlow (2-0, 0.90) allowed one hit and two walks, striking out two in 1 2/3 innings for the win. Gavin Hollowell (2.70) worked a scoreless ninth, striking out two, for his sixth save. Helcris Olivarez (4.10) started and allowed one run on five hits and four walks, striking out nine in 4 2/3 innings.

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