TCU hits homer with top recruit from Copper HillsMay 11, 2021 11:57AM ● By Greg James
Brayden Taylor is hitting .297 and leads the TCU Horned Frogs with nine home runs. (Photo courtesy of TCU athletics.)
By Greg James | [email protected]
A freshman at TCU, Brayden Taylor, is making a difference. The former Copper Hills standout is making waves in college baseball.
“He is playing outstanding,” Horned Frogs head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We knew were getting a really great player, but it is so hard for an incoming freshman to make an impact at this level of college baseball.”
Taylor has played in 30 games has a .297 batting average and leads the team with nine home runs, including a game-winning grand slam against Oklahoma State.
“He is having success offensively and defensively,” Schlossnagle said. “What is more impressive is the way he handles himself. He is mature beyond his years. He has great parents and comes from a great high school program. Everyone that has had a hand in his development up to this point deserves a lot of credit.”
His success escalated the weekend of April 2–4. In Norman, Oklahoma, Taylor hit home runs in three consecutive games. On one particular shot, the jubilation of his father can be heard on his Facebook video. He was also named the Big 12 newcomer of the week for April 5. TCU had won 11 straight games at that point of the season.
Taylor is the son of Troy and Nicole Taylor. He has a brother, Austin, that is a sophomore at Copper Hills currently.
“Troy and Nicole have been incredible for our program,” Copper Hills head baseball coach Joel Sundquist said. “They are at every game and have been uber supportive.”
Taylor was a two-time first-team All-State selection and well on his way to receiving the third selection except for the cancellation of the 2020 season. In the team’s first game last season, Taylor hit a home run off a highly recruited senior from Arizona.
“He was a transcendent player here at Copper Hills,” Sundquist said. “He is special. I have coached a lot of players. I have had some really special athletes, and he is up there with the best I have ever been around.”
At TCU, Tylor has earned the starting third-base position on a team that has many veterans. This season, because of the COVID rules and number of players given extra eligibility, there were many players competing for playing time.
“We have a senior shortstop; Brayden can play there, third base or even second,” Schlossnagle said. “For the long term, we want to see him stay healthy and keep doing what he is doing.”
At press time TCU was ranked tenth in the NCAA baseball rankings. The team has swept Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. TCU is scheduled to take on Texas May 4–6 in what could determine the Big12 conference champion.
In 2019, TCU advanced to the NCAA regionals and lost to Arkansas.
If not for a shortened 2020 season, Taylor could have been a major league baseball draft pick.
“I know he was committed to going to TCU,” Sundquist said. “Anywhere that he ends up will be lucky to have him. He is a fantastic kid a great student and a leader in everything he does.”