Arkansas lefty Evan Taylor likely to sign with Marlins after going in ninth round

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Evan Taylor looks the part of Major League bullpen arm. He may get his chance.

Taylor, an Arkansas left-handed reliever, was taken in the ninth round of the 2022 MLB draft on Monday by the Miami Marlins. He was the eighth player taken in the draft with Arkansas connections.

Taylor’s first three years at Arkansas didn’t look like they would amount to much, having never logged an earned-run average lower than 6.43 in any of his seasons. But the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder broke out in a big way in his final season with the Razorbacks.

The Florence, Alabama, native struck out 54 batters in 44 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .179 average. Left-handed batters had no chance, batting .095 against him.

Left-handed specialists aren’t a thing in the MLB anymore since the league instituted the three-batter rule, but the best ones, those who can retired hitters from both sides of the plate, still find themselves with high value.

Taylor could return to Arkansas for one final season if he chose to, but it’s likely he will sign as he would lose all leverage in next year’s draft.