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Jameson Taillon

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Jameson Lee Taillon

BR Minors page

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Jameson Taillon was the #2 pick of the 2010 amateur draft.

Taillon was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in the 2009 Junior Pan Am Championship to help Team USA win a Gold Medal. He struck out 28 in 13 2/3 innings, walking 3 and allowing 7 hits. He also starred in the Aflac All-American Game. His repertoire contains a fastball (peak time 99 mph), slider and curveball.

Taillon committed to Rice University prior to the 2010 amateur draft but was considered signable and the top high school pitching prospect available. He was the second pick, taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates after Bryce Harper went #1; there was much discussion beforehand about whether the Bucs would take Taillon or Manny Machado.

Taillon made his minor league debut on April 27, 2011, starting for the West Virginia Power against the Hagerstown Suns in the South Atlantic League. He gave up one run in two innings, but the game was then suspended after a rain delay. He hit 100 mph on the radar gun on his fourth pitch of the first inning. One of the batters he faced was Bryce Harper, the only man picked ahead of him in the 2010 draft; Harper drew a walk in his only plate appearance against Taillon. Taillon went 2-3, 3.98 in 23 starts for West Virginia, pitching only 92 2/3 innings, while striking out 97 batters. He was working on a strict pitch count limit all season. In 2012, he made 23 starts for the Bradenton Marauders of the Florida State League, going 6-8, 3.82. He then finished the season by starting three games in AA with the Altoona Curve and winning all of them. As a result, he finished the year at 9-8, 3.55, pitching 142 innings during which he gave up 120 hits, walked 38 and struck out 116.

Taillon's parents are Canadians who both graduated from the University of Toronto. He however was born in Florida and attended high school in Texas. He did pitch for Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, starting the decisive game against Team USA on March 10th, during which he gave up 2 runs - only one of them earned - in four innings of work. He started the 2013 season back with Altoona, where he went 4-7, 3.67 as a starter; he was promoted to the AAA Indianapolis Indians on August 5th and went 1-3, 3.89 the rest of the way. While his won-loss record of 5-10 was unimpressive, his 3.73 ERA in 147 1/3 inning was quite solid, as were the 143 strikeouts he picked up along the way.

The Pirates were looking at promoting Taillon to the big league rotation at some point during 2014, just as they had successfully done with another top pitching prospect, Gerrit Cole, the year before, but got some bad news as spring training broke. He complained of discomfort in his elbow, but initial tests showed that the ligament was partly intact; after further tests, it was decided to have him undergo Tommy John surgery, wiping out his season.

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