CORNER BROOK Travis Taylor will get a chance to showcase his baseball talent at the elite level this time next year.
The talented Corner Brook baseball player has accepted an offer to ply his trade at the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge, Alta. The 17-year-old son of Tom Callahan and Trina Taylor-MacLean will join the academy in September. He will graduate from Corner Brook Regional High in June and immersed himself in university courses while living and breathing baseball under PBA head coach Todd Hubka. Coach Hubka is the man responsible for recruiting Corner Brook native Myles Vincent, who trains with the junior varsity team at the academy and suited up with Team Canada’s U18 team this year.
Taylor was playing with the Newfoundland and Labrador Selects at the Canada Cup Baseball Tournament in London, Ont. in August when Hubka talked to him about taking his game to the next level by learning how to be all baseball business at the academy.
Official word came last week and now Taylor is excited about the opportunity presented to him.
“It’s excellent news. I can’t wait,” Taylor said Tuesday.
Taylor had talked to Vincent about his experence at the academy and he was encouraged by Vincent to give it a shot.
“He said it was rough starting out trying to find friends and stuff, but after he was there he got to meet people and he loved it,” he said. “He loved being on the field every day.”
Taylor is known as a strong defensive player at the shortstop position who can handle a bat, and this is what Hubka spoke to him about when he was encouraging him to consider the offer.
“They said I got good hands and I am a good contact hitter,” he said. “I hit line drives mostly and I don’t strike out very often.”
King has been busy the past month playing major midget hockey with the Western Kings and the third-year player is enjoying the team’s quick start to the season — four wins in a row to start the 2012-13 Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League. Hockey will certainly help keep him in good physical condition, but with so much at stake with the academy deal in place Taylor wants to work his butt off to improve his stock.
“I’m going to train more ... get stronger and quicker I guess,” he said.
The provincial male baseball player of the year for the province in 2011 will suit up in local baseball circles next summer before heading west. Time will tell what life at the academy delivers.