Draft : : Top Prospects
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Draft Focus: Taylore Cherry

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game
Every weekday leading up to the 2012 MLB Draft, Perfect Game will be providing a scouting profile on a notable draft-eligible prospect.  Stay tuned to Perfect Game and be sure to visit the Draft Page for all of the latest info and reports pertaining to the draft.

Taylore Cherry Perfect Game profile

Position: RHP
Height: 6-9
Weight: 260
Bats/Throws: R/R
Birthdate: June 24, 1993
High School: Vandalia Butler
City, State: Dayton, Ohio
Travel Team: Midland Redskins
Commitment: North Carolina
Projected Draft Round: 1, 1S

Taylore Cherry stands out as a prospect, not only for his pitching talent, but for his 6-foot-9, 260-pound frame. He is well proportioned and handles his bulk and height well, but there is no mistaking that it’s a factor in everything he does on the baseball field. When I saw the Yankees CC Sabathia pitch as a high school senior he was listed at approximately 6-foot-7, 260-pounds, and looked even bigger, and there was a concern at the time that he wouldn’t be able to play defense at the Major League level. There are no such concerns with Cherry, who moves well athletically off the mound to field balls and cover first base.

Also similar to Sabathia at that age, Cherry throws very easily and effortlessly and his delivery and release is his hallmark as much as his unique size. He repeats his delivery very well and projects plus command in the future, especially as he refines his breaking ball.

Cherry throws both a four- and two-seam fastball and has been up to 94 mph with his four-seamer, although he seems more comfortable pitching at 89-91 mph with hard, late sinking action down in the strike zone. His change up can be a bit firm at times in the 84-86 mph range but has excellent late life, and Cherry has a nice feel for spotting the pitch, especially down and away to left handed hitters. His upper 70s slurve gets good spin and depth with a sweeping 10-to-4 type of shape. Getting more consistent two-plane downer shape to the pitch or getting more power behind it to make it a true slider will be a focus point for Cherry at the next level.

Interestingly, Cherry is more of a finesse pitcher than a power pitcher at this stage, something that both weighs in for and against his draft prospects with the scouts. The ability to throw three pitches and locate down in the zone, plus create consistent movement in both a fastball and a change up, are things that many high school pitchers don’t learn until they reach college or professional ball. But scouts have been waiting for Cherry to pick his velocity up since he pitched at 91-92 mph at the 2010 WWBA World Championship.

Those scouts will undoubtedly all be at Cherry and Vandalia Butler High School’s matchup against good friend, summer teammate and fellow North Carolina signee LHP Matt Smoral (Solon High School) on April 21. The game will be held at Midland Field near Cincinnati and will be one of the most watched high school games of the spring.

Perfect Game events attended:

    2009 National Underclass Showcase - Main Event
    2010 WWBA 2011 Grads or 17u National Championship
    2010 WWBA Underclass World Championship
    2010 WWBA World Championship
    2011 National Showcase
    2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic Presented by Rawlings
    2011 WWBA World Championship

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