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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Smith stepping up to bat in Cape Cod

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Photo by Victoria Ramirez

Texas A&M baseball player, Taylor Smith will make his debut on the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League in Massachusetts as a catcher for the summer baseball season. 

In the climb toward a career in professional baseball, one Aggie has taken the next step to reach the top.
In the world of summer baseball, few collegiate leagues hold the prestige or competitive drive presented by the Cape Cod Baseball League in Massachusetts. Taylor Smith of the Texas A&M baseball squad has officially signed with the Falmouth Commodores for the summer, putting the catcher in the driver’s seat on his journey to success.
Led by head coach Jeff Trundy, the Commodores have 14 Cape Cod Baseball League championships to their name. Smith said he is excited to join the prestigious program on the team’s path to what is hopefully another first place finish.
“I’m looking forward to going back and playing with one of the greatest summer ball coaches I’ve ever met,” Smith said. “Trundy is a great coach and an even greater human being. Hopefully we’ll get to see some good competition.”
After A&M’s 2021 season came to a close, Smith spent the first part of his summer playing with the Brazos Valley Bombers. The Bombers, a member of the Texas Collegiate League, are coming off of a second consecutive TCL championship victory in 2020 captained by Smith himself. With them, Smith has recorded 24 hits, 30 walks, 20 runs and seven stolen bases across two seasons, opening the door for a successful transition to the Cape.
Though the Commodores will be the third squad Smith has played for within the past two months, the catcher said he is undaunted by the transition.
“I’ve been to three colleges already, so I’m used to changes and playing with different teammates and coaches,” Smith said. “I’m just looking to enjoy my time up there.”
Bombers head coach James Dillard, who has mentored Smith over the past two seasons, said he is confident the Aggie will easily find his place leading the Commodores’ starting lineup.
“Taylor’s a team-first man,” Dillard said. “That’s just who he is. We had so many guys who were team players [on the Bombers last year], and Taylor’s at the top of that list, so I’m sure he will do the same up at the Cape.”
For Smith, who is “putting all of [his] eggs into one basket and just sending it with baseball,” the catcher said, the Commodores represent an opportunity to turn a collegiate career into a professional one.
The Cape League has seen over one thousand former players sign to play with major league teams. Dillard said he believes Smith has the potential to join this list of elite Cape Cod alumni.
“For Taylor personally, this signing means a lot,” Dillard said. “It helps his draft stock because he’s going to see some really good pitching up in the Cape. If he performs well, there’s a great chance he gets drafted. That’s what every one of my players is here to do.”
The success of the Commodores’ 2021 season will determine how long Smith remains in Massachusetts. If Falmouth wins it all, he will likely make Massachusetss his home for the entire summer. However, if the team is eliminated for playoff contention early, the catcher may find a way to rejoin the Bombers for the end of the navy and gold’s season. Smith said he is unsure which way the future will go but would love the opportunity to suit up with Dillard’s squad again.
“If I can catch the end of the Bombers season, I will,” Smith said. “I love these guys and I love coach Dillard. They’re going to win another championship, so I’d love to be a part of that.”
Dillard took a completely opposite stance on the matter.
“Bringing him back would be selfish on my part,” Dillard said. “I don’t want to see Taylor back in a Bombers uniform. I want to see him go and sign a professional contract and start his career. That’s what all good coaches should want for their players.”
Regardless of how the summer shakes out for Smith, he promised to return to the Aggies for another season wearing maroon and white. So far at A&M, the catcher has secured 18 hits, 18 RBIs and seven home runs while maintaining a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Under the guidance of the newly-announced head coach Jim Schlossnagle, Smith said he is confident he will improve his already-impressive stats to become an even better player.
“Honestly, I’m just looking forward to another season with A&M baseball,” Smith said. “We’ve got a new coach, and it’s just going to be an awesome time coming back to Aggieland for another year at Olsen.”
Whether he is playing for the Bombers, Aggies or Commodores, one thing is certain — Smith is crafting a legacy of success as he pushes forward into the future.

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