MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WOOD) — In his dominant year at Central Michigan University, pitcher and Alto-native Andrew Taylor doesn’t make too much noise on the mound, letting his work speak for him.
“I always kind of keep myself reigned in a little bit,” the redshirt sophomore explained.
His teammates, however, will let him hear it, often yelling from the dugout and swarming the right-hander after a successful inning.
“I used to not crack a smile at all, I kind of have to now when they’re cheering and they have the Yoda mask on and everyone’s going crazy,” said Andrew Taylor.
That’s attention he can handle, along with the increased interest from scouts behind home plate. He doesn’t let anything faze him.
“I kind of stay cool and collected, I don’t get in this big cocky phase on the mound. That’s not how I was raised, that’s not where I’m from,” he said.
In Alto, the right hander attended school at Caledonia High School. With some help, it’s where he learned how to be so humble.
“We keep him humble,” joked Bob and Miriam Taylor, Andrew Taylor’s parents.
They say his attitude is perfect for the mound.
“I think it suits him well as a starting pitcher, because he doesn’t get too up or too down. He’s just like, ‘I got this, I’m steady,'” added Bob Taylor.
Along with his mental edge, the sophomore also developed his physical advantage back home.
“(In high school) I think I was 6’5, 140 pounds dripping wet,” recalled Andrew Taylor.
The lanky righty had to go home due to the pandemic, but he turned a disappointing end to the season into a chance to get better.
“He said he wanted to bulk up,” Bob Taylor said.
At home Andrew Taylor worked out often and ate everything he could to get bigger. He in part credits the food he ate back home as what helped him grow.
“Going home to Mom’s home cooking and that kind of thing rather than the cafeteria food here,” said Andrew Taylor.
“He’s really being nice, I don’t know. Just normal family meals, I guess. Whatever I could fit into the Crock-Pot,” recalled Miriam Taylor.
Whatever his mom put into the Crock-Pot, it worked, as Andrew Taylor bulked up for the 2022 season.
“Same pair of pants all a sudden wasn’t falling off of him, they were filled out,” recalled his head coach Jordan Bischel. “Some people used that time poorly, he used it to his best.”
That he did, winning MAC pitcher of the year and All-American honors in 2021.
“If he keeps working, I won’t be surprised if we see him in a big-league stadium in a handful of years,” said Bischel.
But even under the bright lights in the major leagues he’ll never forget the town that made him.
“I’m never too big for them. Whether I get drafted or whether I stay here for five years. I’m never too big for them. You can always make time, they mean the world to me,” he said.
The Major League Baseball draft is still a couple of months away. If Andrew Taylor keeps on mowing down hitters at the rate he has this season, he could hear his name called.
— Correction: An earlier version of this story had the wrong name in the headline. We regret the error, which has been fixed.