Owen Taylor is living the dream of playing professional baseball where he grew up.
Owen is a first baseman for the Colorado Rockies rookie ball affiliate, the Grand Junction Rockies. The team plays at Suplizio field, which Owen is very familiar with because he played his high school games there.
“When I saw my name on the Grand Junction roster I was extremely excited and so was my family,” Taylor said. “It’s such a special experience for us it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
From 2010-2014, Taylor played baseball at Grand Junction high school, where he played varsity for three years. He was an Colorado All-State honorable mention, and was named to the Colorado Rockies’ high school futures team.
In the 2014 MLB Draft, Taylor was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round, but decided to play college ball at the University of Kansas.
Taylor had a solid collegiate career where he earned All-Big 12 honors starting his sophomore season.
“It’s a heck of a lot better playing for the Colorado Rockies at Suplizio just because of the person I’ve developed to be throughout the four years at the University of Kansas.” Taylor added.
Unfortunately, at the end of his senior season Owen didn’t hear his name called in the 2018 MLB Draft.
I thought my baseball career came to an end. That was a hard time for me. A year later to be sitting in this ballpark a part of the Grand Junction Rockies is really special and my family was ecstatic when I got home. It was really special.”Owen Taylor
“Owen has shown a lot of perseverance as a player,” Owen’s mom, Shelly Taylor said. “He’s been through a lot of ups and downs through baseball. He always worked harder and tried to do better, and kept working towards his goal. I’m very proud of the person that he’s grown into.”
A year outside of college the Colorado Rockies invited Taylor out to Spring Training, then eventually signed him as an undrafted free agent.
Growing up Owen was a fan of the Rockies, but also the Atlanta Braves because he liked Chipper Jones. But, now he is back where he started his baseball journey to continue a professional career in baseball.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Owen said. “I got the opportunity, I chased my dream, and I continue to do that everyday with the GJ Rocks.”
He has made the most with his short time back on the WesternSlope. In his first professional at bat Owen hit a two-run homerun against the Ogden Raptors. Then in his first game back at Suplizio, he blasted a homerun over the right-field fence.
Those are the moments I take pride in, just because it feels so good to be put in this situation and to have some success.”Owen Taylor
“I enter the game with no expectations, just to play hard and help my team win and so far it’s been working out.” Owen added.
“It’s the greatest thing in the world,” Owen’s dad, Tony Taylor said. “We haven’t seen him in five years. He’s been gone! We’re so excited to see him suit up every day.”
Owen’s parents love that they have their son back home, and the fact they don’t have to drive 12 hours to Kansas and back to see his college games makes it that much better.
“We’d normally be gone around five days,” Shelly said. “Spend two days driving and three days with him. This is a lot better.”
And Owen likes it because he gets homemade meals from his parents.
“In college, you get sent off to play summer ball,” Owen said. “I got lucky with a lot of my host families, but there’s always that feeling it’s not your house, it’s not your fridge, it’s not your food. But, getting to walk in at night and just devour with no guilt is fantastic.”
Owen has baseball in his blood. His dad played college ball at Loyola Marymount in California. His grandfather, Gene Taylor played for the Baltimore Orioles organization, also playing in the Valley for the Grand Junction Eagles. You can also find Gene on Suplizio’s wall of fame.
“To know that Gene played in the same ballpark, professionally with the Grand Junction Eagles and now Owen is playing right here. It’s really neat.” Tony Taylor said.