From SoCal to the Evergreen State: Cypress Alum Drafted to the Seattle Mariners

It was a day just like any other when Troy Taylor got the phone call he had hoped for since he was a little boy.

“It was like a dream,” said Taylor. “I was sitting at home with my family when I got the call, which was really cool because it took a small army to get me to this point.”

The Cypress College alum, the caller said, had just been drafted by the Seattle Mariners.

A second time.

Interestingly enough, this is the second consecutive year that Taylor had been selected in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft.

Originally, he was drafted by the Mariners in the 20th round in 2021 but didn’t sign with the organization. He felt like he wasn’t ready to play pro ball. He wanted another year to develop.

He also knew that turning down a professional contract was a big risk.

So after playing one more year of college ball and one more year of summer development league, he finally felt ready. So he re-entered the MLB draft.

This time, he was drafted in the 12th round of the MLB draft by the Mariners again – eight rounds higher than his 20th round selection in 2021. He was ready for pro ball. The Mariners organization offered him a contract, and he signed it.

The risk had paid off.

Taylor’s life has been a whirlwind since. And he’s now spending his days working out at the Mariners’ Spring Training home facility in Peoria, Arizona, alongside fellow Mariner signees.

But he tries, diligently, despite the anticipation of bright lights and cheering fans, to remember where he came from and his family, trainers, pitching coaches, and mentors who helped him get there.

“So many people have helped me through the ups and downs to get here,” Taylor said. “Without their support, I definitely could not have gotten here without them.”

When he inevitably gets the call to hit the mound, he’ll walk alone, but it’s a moment he plans to take in gratitude, recalling all the people who have helped him get here – among the greatest baseball players in the world.

Even though he’ll soon be living the nomadic life of a pro baseball player, Taylor has spent most of his life in Southern California. He grew up in Rancho Cucamonga and started playing baseball when he was just four years old, with the full support of his parents, Earl and Susan, and his sister Jenna. Taylor’s baseball journey continued through his time at Los Osos High School, where he was a scholar-athlete for all four years. From there, the right-handed pitcher went on to a short stint at a university that he quickly found just wasn’t a good fit for him.

Then he went to Cypress, a college that has recently become prolific in producing baseball talent for the major leagues. His teammate, Nick Bautista, was also drafted this year by the Texas Rangers in the 16th round.

“I chose to go to Cypress because they have a great program,” Taylor said. “I really liked the coaching staff. I felt like they would really develop me.”

As a Charger, Taylor pitched in eight games and five as a starter with a 4.82 ERA during the 2021-2022 season. It was a wise decision to play for Cypress, a part of the Orange Empire Conference. Players are often recruited for the majors there, and his first call from the Mariners came when he was still at Cypress.

Taking what he learned from the two-year college, he went on to play at the University of California Irvine for the Anteaters, where he posted a 3.82 ERA with a season-high three strikeouts against California State University Bakersfield in Big West conference play.

Hutting, who still gets phone calls and visits from Taylor when he’s in town, said he cannot wait to see Taylor grow in his baseball career.

“I am very excited for Troy on his selection in the Major League Baseball draft,” said Head Chargers Baseball Coach Anthony Hutting. “He has absolutely earned the opportunity to play professional baseball. As a program, we could not be more proud of Troy and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”

Learn more about Cypress College Chargers Baseball.