TUSCALOOSA — As the first Alabama player to compete in the College Home Run Derby, Chandler Taylor put on a show Saturday night inside TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, Neb., finishing second in the eighth-annual event with 49 total points.
The sophomore outfielder began with 17 points in the first round, which placed him in second place in the opening frame. He followed with a second round 16 points to advance the finals with 33 total dingers, pairing himself with Niko Hulsizer of Morehead State in the final round. Hulsizer led the field with 37 homers after the first-two rounds. Taylor held the longest distances, launching a pair of home runs at 476 and 471 feet, while also putting a beating on the right field scoreboard in his at bats.
Hulsizer set the pace with 17 points in the first at bat of the finals.Taylor kept things interesting with a nail-biting finish, posting 16 home runs in the final seconds. Taylor then rallied the crowd on the two-point money ball pitch that fell just short in right field, finishing one home run shy of Hulsizer in the 2017 College Home Run Derby.
Taylor led the Crimson Tide with 16 home runs in the 2017 campaign, which was the most by any Alabama player since Clay Jones’ 17 during the 2010 season. Taylor’s home runs also ranked him third inside the SEC, while also leading everyday starters with a team-high 10 home runs in league play. His performances led to All-SEC Second Team nominations, as well as SEC Player of the Week during the series at Auburn.
Taylor, a Montgomery (Ala.) native, was selected in the 27th round (796th overall) by the Minnesota Twins of the 2017 MLB Draft. He will have until July 15 to decide whether to turn pro or return to the Crimson Tide for his junior season.
Information for this article was obtained courtesy of UA Media Relations.