MOREHEAD CITY, NC July 25, 2014 – Former Morehead City Marlins’ infielder Chris Taylor took care of two career milestones in one day on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Taylor made his Major League debut for the Seattle Mariners in the first game of their series against the Baltimore Orioles, and also recorded his first major league hit, going 1-for-3 in the ballgame. He becomes the first Morehead City Marlin to make it to the Major Leagues.
Taylor played for the Marlins during their inaugural season in 2010, hitting .250 with seven RBI, nine stolen bases and a .396 on-base percentage in 25 games.
“We’re excited that Chris got probably the best phone call in baseball and [got a chance] to play in the big leagues,” said Marlins’ owner Buddy Bengel. “We were happy he got to spend the summer with us in Morehead City in 2010 and we are thrilled to see him continue his career in baseball.”
Taylor was called up by Seattle along with Jesus Montero on Thursday after a couple of roster spots opened up when Willie Bloomquist was put on the disabled list and Taijuan Walker was optioned to Triple-A.
Taylor was put in the starting lineup upon arrival, playing at shortstop and hitting ninth. In his first at bat he popped out, and then his second time up in the fifth inning singled to centerfield.
The University of Virginia product was selected in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Mariners, and has spent the last two seasons and the better part of the 2014 season in the Seattle farm system. Before his call up, Taylor was hitting .328 with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers with five home runs, 63 runs, 37 RBI, a .397 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases in 75 games. His batting average is second highest in the Pacific Coast League, and it helped to a 2014 Triple-A All-Star selection.
Overall, in 258 minor league games, Taylor holds a lofty .320 average and has gotten on base at a .407 clip, all while collecting 323 hits—96 of which were for extra bases. In 2013, he was selected as the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts.
Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,100 alumni drafted and 65 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (@CPLBaseball).