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Touring with Taylor: The battle within begins - Through The Fence Baseball

Touring with Taylor: The battle within begins

by Dan Taylor | Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
| 299 baseball fanatics read this article

Dan Taylor

Greetings from Grand Rapids, MI …

I will be calling Grand Rapids my home for the next six months or so, and with that, I will be enjoying its full array of attractions and activities. This is the area I was born and raised in, and by coming back here in the offseason, it allows me the opportunity to give back to the community that was so awesome to me.

So, I find myself still attached to baseball as much as possible, even though we have been done now for a week. On a regular basis, I check our other affiliate sites for playoff scores, I check the D-backs site for scores and I also get a round up of how everyone else is doing. I’m not sure that I’m doing it to stay in touch with baseball; simply because that feeling never seems to go away. Rather, I feel as if I am following so intently because I want to know how other guys are finishing up.

As the season winds down, players start to pay closer attention to their stats and what numbers they are going to finish with. Now, numbers are not everything that goes into the decisions for next year, but they do play a big role in the process. Thus, with my numbers being solidified, I am trying to figure out where I land in the pile at the end. Realistically, I need to be paying attention to guys ahead of me and behind me, but, optimistically, I usually only follow guys ahead of me.

While stats aren't the only driver behind minor leauge call ups, every player -- including Dan Taylor -- trys to figure out where he stands within the organization at season's end.

Many of you already know that baseball is anything but a perfect science; so just because my numbers or someone else’s are better than another’s that does not equate into a promotion next year. Nonetheless, seeing all the numbers, and then factoring in league appreciation (i.e., Cali & PCL are hitters leagues), all of us minor leaguers start trying to project where we will start the following season.

First order of business is to get invited back to spring training. From there, it’s trying to do all that is possible to move up. This is where the internal battle begins. We all want the organization to be successful because that means we are part of one of the best organizations in baseball; however, the other side of the blade within strong organizations is that the promotion and development process tends to be a tighter, slower trend. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want all the guys I play with to fulfill their potential, but at what point do we want that to interfere with our own potential?

Hopefully, you are starting to see the picture being portrayed here. The common axiom of human nature — survival instincts — kicks in and the battle is on. Almost every player deals with it in a different way, much as all of you do in your work environments. Needless to say, though, our window of opportunity diminishes with every September. Some guys fall by the wayside, some guys fight back and some guys just ride out the storm. I do not know the right or wrong answers, but perhaps a hybrid mentality would reign supreme.

Post By Dan Taylor (16 Posts)

A 2005 graduate of Jenison High School and a 2009 graduate of Central Michigan University, Dan will be entering his third season of pro ball with the Arizona Diamondbacks. As a 21st-round selection in 2009, he was named the organizational pitcher of the month in his second month with the D-Backs and started the 2010 campaign in the low-A Midwest League. After a strong start, Dan was promoted to the high-A California League, where he finished out the season with multiple player-of-the-week accolades. As a four-year letter winner and starting pitcher at CMU, Dan collected two All-MAC selections, and team MVP and Captain awards. Dan also ranks fifth all-time in innings pitched and seventh in strikeouts. Upon leaving CMU, Dan put two academic All-MAC selections under his belt, as well, to go with his Bachelor of Science degree. Beyond baseball, Dan spent two years at CMU interning on the strength and conditioning staff, where he worked with all 14 varsity sports. His responsibilities included, but were not limited to, designing off-season training programs and running workouts. In his spare time, Dan has acquired an ACE certification for personal training, too. Most importantly, though, is Dan’s dedication to the people he works with and the passion he brings every day attempting to repeat the body’s best all-out effort.

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