2012 7th-Round Pick: 1B Taylor Ard
I have made references in the past to a bleeding from a parallel universe in which the Mariners moved to Tampa, which in our world has resulted in the Rays drafting all the relevant players from the Pacific Northwest. We just drafted Ard out of Wazzu. The Rays still haven’t made their move. Perhaps we are safe now.
Ard’s been drafted a couple of times already, but never by the Rays. The Marlins tried it in 2010, when he was at Mount Hood CC, and then the Red Sox made the attempt last year in the 25th round, but he wanted more than they offered, so he sat out. Hitting is the thing that Ard does well. He has power to any part of the ballpark and last year he led the Pac-10 in dingers with ten, tied for RBI with fifty-five, and ranked second with a .577 slugging percentage. He was All-Pac 10 last year, and was All-Pac 12 this year, with the same slugging percentage (ranking third this time) and twelve dingers (also third). BA adds that he’s handled wood bats pretty well too, but had power numbers without the good batting average while in the Cape Cod League.
Based off the profile, I’m guessing he’s purely a first baseman, since he doesn’t appear to have speed to speak of. Some say his defense is pretty good too. One would hope that he hits enough to make the positional thing a non-issue, but again, some average issues with wood bats and doesn’t walk a great deal either. It’s a decent pick for the time.