Port Coquitlam's Taylor chosen by Arizona Diamondbacks in MLB draft

PoCo pitcher, who currently plays with the UBC Thunderbirds, chosen 119th overall in the fourth round

Curtis Taylor is taking his pitching skills to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

The Port Coquitlam athlete and current member of the UBC Thunderbirds baseball program was selected 119th overall in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft Friday afternoon.

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Taylor watched the draft get called with his family in Port Coquitlam, before he received a call from Diamondbacks management. 

"I knew a few picks in advance that it was going to happen," he said an hour after being chosen. "But when my name actually came up, that was the best feeling of my life."

Taylor had been in talks with all 30 MLB franchises, but said Arizona seemed the most keen to acquire him. He has had several conversations with the club's management, which had been scouting him all year. 

It's been a long road for the 6'5", 210-lb. right-hander. 

After a few years in little league, he eked his way onto the roster with the Coquitlam Redlegs, where he began plying his trade in the B.C. Premier Baseball League. 

Playing with the Reds turned out to be a major turning point in Taylor's life. 

"They got me to the next level," he said. "I was one of the last guys to make the junior team and they turned me into a guy that got a scholarship at UBC."

Taylor did not stop improving once he joined up with the Thunderbirds. 

He told The Tri-City News that with the help of his coach and their training staff, he was able to increase his pitching speed by approximately 10 miles per hour since he arrived at UBC three years ago. 

In fact, it was only last year when he began to think about the possibility that he may get drafted by a Major League Baseball organization.

"It was one outing against Lewis-Clarke [State College of Idaho]," he said. "My velocity was up. The draft started to seem like an achievable thing. I had never really thought that until that moment."

While Taylor is still getting over the excitement of being chosen by an MLB club, he hasn't had a lot of time to think about what happens next.

He has had several preliminary talks with Arizona's management and said he could be playing short-season baseball in the next couple of weeks.

"I am not sure yet," he said. "I am going to find out in the next couple of days."

sports@tricitynews.com

@gmckennaTC

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