One of the most consistent hitters and best defensive catchers in program history, junior Beau Taylor proved his worth Tuesday when he was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics. The Rockledge native was the 166th player taken overall.
Taylor is the first Knight to be selected in one of the first five rounds since 2005 when Mike Billek was tagged in the third round by the Chicago Cubs and current Minnesota Twins catcher Drew Butera heard his name called in the fifth round by the New York Mets.
UCF has now produced 14 picks in the top-five rounds of the MLB Draft, and 27 overall in the first 10 rounds since 1979 (the program’s first year was in 1973).
The Black and Gold boasts 74 draft picks in its history, and has had at least one player selected in the MLB Draft in each of the last four seasons. Since 1998, UCF has seen one or more of its student-athletes taken by a Major League club every year except for 2007.
From the minute he stepped on campus for the 2009 season Taylor was destined to be UCF’s starting catcher for at least the next three campaigns. As a freshman, he made 39 starts, hit .335, drove in 23, scored 28 runs and had 15 doubles with four homers. Behind the plate, he threw out 26 runners on the basepaths to lead all Conference USA catchers.
Taylor went on to be named a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American in 2009, becoming the first UCF catcher to receive the honor.
A year later, he bumped his average up to .354 by racking up 16 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 35 RBI and 45 runs. He had a .561 slugging percentage with a .429 on-base percentage, and finished the season with a 21-game hitting streak.
That hitting streak carried over to his junior year in 2011 where he extended it to 26 games to tie the school record. Taylor earned a spot on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List for the second-straight year, and proceeded to hit .325 with a personal-high 75 hits, 51 runs and 47 RBI. More impressively, the Rockledge High School graduate committed just one error all season to finish with a .998 fielding percentage.
For his career, Taylor is hitting .337 with 16 home runs, 42 doubles, 105 RBI and a .990 fielding percentage.