The TCU baseball team saw seven players selected in the 2023 MLB Draft earlier this summer. Among the draftees was star third baseman Brayden Taylor, who the Tampa Bay Rays nabbed with the 19th overall pick in the first round and signed to a contract with a reported $3.88 million signing bonus. Since beginning his professional career a few months ago, Taylor has made his way to the Single-A Charleston River Dogs, where he’s currently slashing .243/.338/.486 with four homers and 13 RBIs. The former Horned Frog has made several highlights and recently went viral for a fun moment in the Charleston clubhouse.
Taylor has started to heat up at the plate, hitting an inside-the-park home run to headline a stellar week where he compiled a 1.106 OPS along with three stolen bases and nine RBIs. The 21-year-old will look to earn one more promotion before the 2023 MiLB season comes to a close in September. Taylor has continued to play third base for the River Dogs and has only one fielding error in 21 minor-league games. TCU’s all-time home run champion, Taylor has showcased his speed with the Single-A Charleston team, racking up six stolen bases.
Brayden Taylor shows off his wheels as he makes his fourth pro homer an inside-the-parker!— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 3, 2023
The @RaysBaseball 2023 first-rounder (19th overall) raises his OPS to .839 with the @ChasRiverDogs: pic.twitter.com/VqRF0OQRkS
Another TCU draftee who’s seeing early success in the minor leagues is outfielder Elijah Nunez, who was selected in the 14th round by the Washington Nationals. Currently playing for the Single-A Fredericksburg Nationals, Nunez owns a .304/.426/.316 slash line with 24 hits and 18 stolen bases. Nunez has collected 10 RBIs and shown tremendous discipline at the dish, drawing 19 walks with only 16 strikeouts. Nunez has appeared in 21 games for the Nationals, earning 19 starts in left field with one in center field and another in right field. Nunez has 42 putouts with one assist, one double play and zero errors on defense.
Seventh-rounder Cole Fontenelle has made his way to the Single-A level after being taken by the Los Angeles Angels during the 2023 MLB Draft. Fontenelle has a .243/.325/.368 slash line with three homers and 23 RBIs along with seven stolen bases across 37 total games. The former JUCO standout-turned-Horned-Frog has been a regular starter at third base for the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers, earning 35 appearances with two as the designated hitter. Fontenelle dabbled in multiple defensive positions at TCU before eventually securing the starting first base position during his lone season with the Horned Frogs.
Elijah Nunez led Fredericksburg's big offensive night going 4-for-4 with a double, two RBI, two walks and a stolen base.— Nationals Player Development (@Nats_PlayerDev) August 16, 2023
He has reached base in all nine games he's played for the FredNats, hitting .353 with a double, eight RBI, nine walks and five stolen bases. pic.twitter.com/IYklSkE8RY
Horned Frog infielder and IHOP ambassador Tre Richardson is also competing at the Single-A level after being selected in the 15th round of the draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. The second baseman owns a .227/.338/.303 slash line with 15 hits, 10 walks and five stolen bases in 66 at-bats over 22 games with the Palm Beach Cardinals. Right-handed and 10th-rounder Cam Brown is on the roster for the Single-A Clearwater Threshers of the Phillies organization, while two more Horned Frog athletes including undrafted free agent righty Luke Savage (Texas Rangers) as well as 10th-rounder Ryan Vanderhei (San Francisco Giants) are getting their feet wet at the rookie-league level. Garrett Wright, who was taken in the 20th round by the Chicago White Sox, has not been assigned to a team as of yet.