One of the newest members of the Yankees’ farm, Taylor Widener impressed in his first taste of professional baseball.
The right-hander was selected in the 12th round of the 2016 June Amateur Draft from University of South Carolina after maintaining a 3.59 ERA across 57 career games (14 starts) in the NCAA.
What’s interesting to most is how dominant he was as he worked his way up into Single-A Charleston in just half a season in the organization.
With Staten Island, Widener struck out 25 batters in 15.1 innings (14.7 K/9) and didn’t allow a single run while batters hit just .043 against him.
In seven games (one start) with the RiverDogs, the 22-year old maintained a 0.78 ERA and in his only start in a game against Columbia Fireflies, Widener struck out seven in four innings of work while surrendering just one hit.
In South Carolina, his fastball sat in the 90-93 m.p.h. range but with the Staten Island Yankees, Widener was reaching as high as 97.
Out of the 2016 draft class, in which all the attention leaned towards Blake Rutherford, Widener is considered to not only have the best fastball, but is also considered to be the closest prospect to the majors out of the bunch.