DUNEDIN, FL. — Taylor Cole plays baseball not only for himself, but also for his wife.
The 23-year-old Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect says it has been a blessing having his spouse, Madilyn, supporting him at the organization’s spring training camp this month.
Moving with her husband to Florida was a sacrifice Cole does not take for granted.
“She has sacrificed a lot of her dreams, to just follow our dream together [and] make it to the big leagues,” said Cole, in the shade at the Bobby Mattick Training Centre.
Cole and his wife were together in Vancouver while he was a starting pitcher for the Canadians of the Northwest League this past season.
He had an outstanding season, leading the organization in ERA (0.81), opposing batting average (.161) and WHIP (0.799).
Cole says he is fortunate to have Madilyn supporting him through the struggles of being a minor-league baseball player.
“I play a lot for me, for her, for our family and she is just a big support.”
To achieve his big dream of returning to Toronto – where he sacrificed two years on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and take the mound with the Jays, Cole still has a lot of work ahead of him.
He acknowledges he has had a successful season, but must work on commanding his fastball in order to bring himself to the level required to move up to the major leagues.
“I have got to master my pitches, repeat my delivery and make sure I am able to be consistent,” Cole said. “That is the difference between a major and a minor-league player, consistency.”
Since being drafted in the 29th round by the Jays in 2011, Cole has seen a lot of positive progress, collecting the Topps NOR Player of the Year and Short-Season/Rookie All-Star award with Vancouver.
Fortunately, Cole’s father ensured he stayed accountable for his actions. This, along with Cole’s deep religious belief, has made him a grounded and focused baseball player.
“I need to keep working hard or else other people will catch me and surpass me,” Cole said. “Everyday I try to be the best that I can be and work harder than everybody.
“I know if I do that good things will happen to me.”