UCF head baseball coach Terry Rooney has done many things for his program in his fifth year on the job. Not only has he created a winning environment with back-to-back regional appearances, but also welcomes back former Knights who are preparing for their professional seasons.
Early in the spring, if you stop by the UCF baseball complex you will see many familiar faces who helped put UCF on the map. One of those former Knights that works out on campus is current Oakland A's minor leaguer Beau Taylor.
Starring at UCF from 2009-11, Taylor made an immediate impact behind the plate as a catcher for the Knights. For his career, the Rockledge native hit .337, belted 16 home runs, drove in 105 RBI and slugged .503 with a .398 OBP. The two-time Johnny Bench Award Watch List catcher wasn't just known for his bat, but his stellar defense as well. In his time at UCF, Taylor threw out 58 runners in his career, including 26 his rookie season, which led Conference USA and gave him a spot on the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American Team.
Since being drafted in the fifth round by the A's following his junior year, Taylor has made an immediate impact in Oakland's organization. After spending the 2011 summer in A-ball, he started 2012 in high-A Stockton where he hit .328 before being bumped up to AA Midland on July 12. Splitting duties between catching and as a designated hitter, Taylor still showed off his defensive prowess with 17 runners caught stealing last year.
Recently, Taylor received the news that he had been invited to big-league spring training at in Phoenix, Ariz., as a non-roster invitee. Make sure to watch the former Knight in the video below talk about his time at UCF and life in the minor leagues.