June 21, 2023

Q&A: TCU baseball’s Brayden Taylor

The third baseman said the Frogs started on their road to Omaha when they finally became fed up with losing.

Brayden Taylor helps TCU Baseball with his bat and his glove at third base. Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

June 21, 2023

Q&A: TCU baseball’s Brayden Taylor

The third baseman said the Frogs started on their road to Omaha when they finally became fed up with losing.

A big reason for the Frogs’ success this season and their trip to the College World Series is third baseman Brayden Taylor. 

The junior from West Jordan, Utah, is one of the best players in the country and is expected to be a first-round pick next month in the MLB draft.  

He overcame a midseason rough patch to hit 23 home runs, and his team overcame a sluggish April with a May rally to reach its goals. TCU was 23-20 on April 30 but improved 44-23 after its first three games at the College World Series. 

A trip to Omaha, Nebraska, is always the Frogs’ goal.

What has changed since May 1?

Well, I think that we were just sick and tired of playing the way that we were. I felt like we all realized that something needed to change, and we just decided to go out there, start having more fun, start playing the baseball the way we know.

Was there a moment or a game when you sensed things would turn around?

Not necessarily. I think that everyone just stuck with the process, even when the process was going pretty bad for us. But once we started going good, we just continued to roll with it.

Brayden Taylor entered the College World Series with 23 home runs in his junior season. Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

How have you been able to maintain that high level of play?

Just taking each day day by day, going in there with the same attitude each day, being locked in, being focused and being ready to do your job. And if you don’t get your job done, trust the next guy that he’s going to get his job done.

What have you seen from Kirk Saarloos as he has transitioned from being an assistant coach to the head coach?

I’m super, super grateful to play under a coach like that. He’s super, super positive with us and he’s very helpful, but he’ll let you know if you need to change something. That’s what a good coach does. He has his ways. Each coach has his different ways, but I’m super happy to be a part of this program with him.

How was the coaching staff’s messaging when things weren’t going well in April and then when things started going well in May?

It was a consistent message of just trying to say, ‘Hey, stick with it, stick with it because we know that we’re going to get to where we want to be by the end of season if we continue to trust our process and keep doing what we need to what we need to do.’

Was the three-game sweep at West Virginia the low point of the season?

Well, that was definitely a pretty low point. I’m not sure. I mean, we had we had a few different low points. But West Virginia definitely sticks out. They ended up sweeping us, and I feel like, at that point, a lot of us were like, ‘Hey, yes, we played against a really good team, but we need to figure something out because that’s not that’s not how TCU baseball is supposed to be played.’ 

Brayden Taylor said that the MLB draft hasn’t been a distraction this season. He is expected to be a first-round pick. Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

How is TCU baseball supposed to be played? 

The game is supposed to be played the right way. TCU baseball plays baseball hard and plays having fun and trusting one another.

A few years ago the MLB draft would have already been held and would have been a distraction. Has the lead-up to the draft been a distraction these past few weeks? 

No, no distraction yet. At this moment, all I’m focused on is playing TCU baseball. Sure, people ask me all these questions about it, but I’m only focused on TCU baseball. When that time comes, I’ll focus on that.

Are you glad the draft is in July now?

It definitely makes it easier. It definitely would be a difficult process. But guys did it before and they managed to get through it.

I’m guessing this is exactly what you envisioned when you came here.

Absolutely. When I chose to come TCU, I wanted to be a part of a really good program and a winning program. That’s what we did.

What would it mean for you to win the College World Series?

Oh, it would mean a ton, not only just for me but for this school and for the city. I’m super grateful to play in front of such great fans who loved to come out to all these games and love to support. You all saw how the national football game went for the title and saw how everyone went out there and were supporting them. It would mean a ton to bring home a title for this school. 

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