Will Taylor might choose professional baseball over college, but it appears he’s at least likely to step foot on Clemson’s campus.
Eddie Taylor, Will’s father, told The State on Monday that the plan right now is to move his son in at Clemson next week. Will graduates from Dutch Fork High School on Saturday and would arrive at Clemson on June 24.
He is a two-sport Clemson signee for football and baseball, and also a high-level prospect in the 2021 Major League Draft. Baseball America has Taylor No. 26 in their Top 500 prospect list released Tuesday.
“Almost certain I will take him on the 24th to Clemson. Will see where this winds up soon enough,” Eddie Taylor said.
This year’s MLB Draft is set for July 11-13, about a month later than normal. The extra time will help the Taylor family come up with a decision on whether to stay at Clemson or go ahead and play pro baseball.
Will Taylor is projected as a first-round draft pick, according to several mock drafts. CBS Sports had Taylor going to the New York Yankees in its mock draft released June 11. If the projections hold up, Taylor would be the first Midlands high school player to be drafted in the first round since Lexington’s Nick Ciuffo went 21st overall to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2013 MLB Draft.
A first-round selection carries with it a multimillion dollar signing bonus.
MLB scouts were at almost all of Taylor’s baseball games at Dutch Fork this season, and about half a dozen showed up to watch him play in the S.C. Baseball Coaches All-Star game at Lexington High School on Monday. Taylor had a walk and stolen base in the game, which was called in the ninth inning because of lightning.
In recent weeks, Taylor has worked out for the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels at their pro ballparks, and also worked out for the Boston Red Sox at their training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. The Chicago Cubs have called about bringing Taylor in for a workout at Wrigley Field.
Taylor’s workout for the Rangers at Globe Life Field included the club showing a highlight package of him on the stadium’s videoboard.
“It is kind of fun traveling around and competing with some of the best in the country. It has been a joy,” Will Taylor said Monday.
Taylor also spent a day on Clemson’s campus earlier this month with half of the time with baseball coach Monte Lee and the other half with football coach Dabo Swinney. He hears from a Clemson football or baseball coach every day or every other day.
“The trip up to Clemson was great. I sat down with coach Lee and coach Swinney and talked more about what my schedule there would look like, how I would balance both sports,” Taylor said. “... I’m just getting ready for whatever is next.”