Taylor Bloom – RHP
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 195 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: R/R
Hometown (HS): Severna Park, Md. (Riverdale Baptist High School)
G: 18 (17 GS) IP: 89.1 ERA: 3.83 K/9: 5.34 BB/9: 2.52 H/9: 10.18
Arsenal: Fastball (86-88), Changeup, Curveball
Background: Taylor Bloom made the short trip over to College Park from nearby Severna Park, making 15 appearances and five starts his freshman year in 2015. He had his highest K/9 of any year at Maryland, at 7.41, but posted a 4.04 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 33.2 innings. He established himself as a big game starter in the Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Tournament, when he allowed one run over six innings in the clinching game over UCLA.
The 6-foot, 195-pound right-hander’s role expanded greatly in a breakout 2016, as he became a mainstay in the Terps’ rotation as the Saturday starter. He posted a 2.46 ERA, fourth-best in the Big Ten, while pitching 102.1 innings and walking just nine hitters. Not a strikeout pitcher, Bloom whiffed just sixty hitters, instead relying on pinpoint control to induce ground balls and work efficiently. This approach paid off, as he tossed five complete games, including one shutout. The then-sophomore threw 7.1 innings in the Big Ten Tournament against Michigan State, allowing just two runs.
After a brilliant 2016, Bloom regressed some as a junior in 2017. Shuttling back and forth between the Saturday and Sunday roles, he pitched to a 3.83 ERA, and posted good, but not great walk numbers (25 in 89.1 innings). He came up big in the postseason as usual, however, tossing five innings of two-run ball against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament and eight strong innings against UMBC in the NCAA Tournament.
Outlook: Expectations were high for the righty coming into his junior season, and while he was still a solid performer, he fell short of his stats from a year ago. However, he has proven to be a consistent starter over past two-plus seasons, tossing a combined 191.2 frames with a 3.10 ERA and 1.23 WHIP across his sophomore and junior seasons. Additionally, he has come up big numerous times in important games for the Terps.
Bloom doesn’t blow anyone away, as his fastball sits in the mid- to upper-80s, and his 5.64 career K/9 is not the shining rate that many teams look for in early rounds. When he is on, though, his pinpoint control allows him to pitch to contact and work deep into games. If he doesn’t locate, however, the right-hander can be hit hard, evidenced by a .289 opponents’ average and 11 homers this season. The key to his draft stock lies in teams’ confidence that he will be able to consistently control his pitches and get ahead of hitters.
If teams read more into his strong 2016 and his flashes of brilliance this season, including his postseason performances, then he could make for an intriguing selection in the mid to late rounds of the upcoming draft.