Bren Taylor is not the most imposing physical specimen.
At 5 feet, 11 inches, and about 170 pounds, his stature is pretty much the definition of average.
Put a bat in his hands, however, and he becomes one formidable foe.
Just ask the pitchers in the York-Adams or Susquehanna leagues.
They’ve had precious little luck getting him out during the past several months.
Taylor’s prowess at the plate hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, he earned the attention of a number of college coaches, and he recently gave a verbal commitment to Millersville University, which has become an NCAA Division II baseball power in recent years under head coach Jon Shehan.
In Taylor, the Marauders will get a left-handed hitter who pounds line drives with frightening regularity.
This past spring, as a junior for Eastern York High School, Taylor hit .616 with three homers, eight triples, 10 doubles, 30 RBIs and 34 runs scored — in just 20 games. That earned him the York-Adams Division III Player of the Year Award.
That followed a sophomore season when he hit .479.
This summer, playing for first-place East Prospect in the Susquehanna League, Taylor has proven he can get the better of grown men, too. He’s one of the Pistons’ top hitters, with a team-best .482 average with 20 RBIs and 25 runs scored in 25 games.
Aspito impressed: His predictable production has impressed former York Revolution standout Jason Aspito, who has been coaching Taylor since he was 8.
“There aren’t many players who can barrel up the ball as consistently as he does,” said Aspito, who works out of Backyard University in Red Lion. “And he also makes great adjustments, too.”
Taylor said his biggest goal is to get selected in next year’s major league draft. He knows to achieve that objective, however, he’ll need to get bigger, stronger and faster.
He’s looking to add about 20 more pounds of muscle and improve his 60-yard dash time.
“I’m putting in tons of work trying to gain weight, get quicker and get better,” Taylor said.
Possessing intangibles: Aspito, meanwhile, believes Taylor has the intangibles to succeed at the next level.
“He’s a winning ballplayer,” Aspito said. “He can swing it, he plays the game hard and he’s as coachable as it gets, which is why he’s had the success he’s had. He’s quiet, and a good kid.”
Aspito also praised Taylor’s even-keeled demeanor.
“The best thing about Bren is that you can never tell if he’s having a good day or a bad day,” Aspito said. “That’s why I always said I would never play poker with Bren.”
Not lacking for confidence: Taylor may be quiet and unflappable, but he doesn’t lack for confidence. He said that Millersville will be getting “a steal” when he arrives — provided, of course, he doesn’t get drafted and turn pro next summer instead.
If and when he arrives at Millersville, Taylor will have to settle on a position. The right-handed thrower played shortstop for Eastern and plays second for East Prospect. In college, he could play outfield or infield.
“I’ll play wherever they need me,” Taylor said.
Joining strong program: At Millersville, Taylor will join a program that finished 37-20 in 2018, which included a fourth Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title game appearance in the last five years. The Marauders have earned six straight NCAA Division II regional berths.
In 2016, Millersville finished as the NCAA D-II runner-up.
“They play a high standard of baseball … and I felt I could help them out,” Taylor said.
Aspito is also confident that Taylor will thrive at the next level.
“His bat can play anywhere,” Aspito said.
The pitchers in the York-Adams and Susquehanna leagues would, to a man, almost certainly agree with Aspito.
Steve Heiser is sports editor at The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.