Thursday, July 25, 2024

Sports Spotlight: Kai Taylor

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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – He’s from Chandler, Arizona, plays college baseball in Sioux Falls, and this summer, he’s a big part of the bullpen in Bismarck.

Kai Taylor has pitched in more games than anyone else on the Larks roster and he leads the team in strikeouts. He has 35 Ks with only eight walks.

The Larks bring in players from colleges all across the nation. Taylor comes from Augustana.

“It’s really interesting to see the different types of experiences that everyone brings to the table. You have guys that are at big-time D1s and you guys that are at JUCOs that nobody’s ever heard of. It’s really cool to see that everyone is here for a common goal,” said Taylor.

“We’re so concerned with velocity these days. Guys don’t know how to pitch as far as changing speeds, using their breaking ball, actually holding runners, fielding their position, doing all the things that involve being a good pitcher,” said Larks Manager Mark Weidemeier.

During his time with the Larks, Taylor has asserted himself as a vital piece of the Bismarck bullpen.

“Can use him to close games in the back of the bullpen. He’s very versatile in that regard. He’s the kind of guy like most of the bullpen guys should be. When your name’s called, go pitch. And he does it,” said Weidemeier.

When Taylor gets called to the mound, he brings with him a collection of pitches that include a fastball, a curve and a slider.

“I think he’s my best guy as far as being the most reliable reliever I’ve got for sure. He throws strikes, he works down in the zone, he’s got a tight little slider, he’s got no fear. I love him. I think he should be on the all-star team,” said Weidemeier.

The key to having all-star caliber pitches is making them look the same to the hitter.

“I try to make it as similar as possible to my fastball because it just makes it harder to hit because it looks the same. It’s all about the grips and just the wrist position I guess. Curveball is more over the top and you’re pulling down kind of like dropping the hammer and the slider is more like throwing it like a football,” said Taylor.

Taylor and the Larks are in St. Cloud for a doubleheader Wednesday.

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