Right now, Taylor Trammell is back home in Kennesaw just waiting for news.
It has not been decided yet if the minor leagues will resume play this year after the coronavirus pandemic postponed spring training in mid-March. When the virus hit full force, the former Mount Paran Christian standout was with the San Diego Padres as a non-roster invitee.
The 22-year-old outfielder, who entered the season as the organization’s second highest prospect, played in 13 spring games and maintained a .391 batting average in 23 plate appearances and had three doubles, one triple and four RBIs.
The stoppage came when he had found his stride after slumping for most of 2019. At first, he thought the postponement would be a quick precaution.
“At first, I was like, ‘OK, this is a week or two thing, and everything will get figured out,’” Trammell said. “Then it got to the point to where, ‘OK, this is actually serious,’ Then it got to the point to where ‘OK, I don’t have a job.’ We are in the dark room looking for some light.”
With spring training officially canceled and owners approving a Major League Baseball proposal plan earlier this week for a July start, plans of having a minor league season is still uncertain. The uncertainty of the season leaves Trammell in limbo as to how he should stay baseball-ready. Does he train as if it is the offseason or does he train as if there is a game tomorrow?
He is taking the latter approach.
“If we have a season, I’m going to be as ready as I can be. That’s what my job is,” said Trammell, who works out at Champion Performance Training in Powder Springs. “We taking it with a grain of salt, keeping our cups half full and staying as positive as we can. Right now, I’m training like I’m in season. When this thing ramps up, I want to hit the ground running.”
Trammell also wants to continuing producing, especially after he snapped out of a hitting slump that has hindered him for much of 2019.
After he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds as the 35th overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft, playing professional baseball didn’t seem to faze him.
During rookie ball with the Billings Mustangs, he was hitting .303 with two home runs and 34 RBIs. His next two seasons in Single A with the Dayton Dragons and Daytona Tortugas, his average was in the upper .270s with a combined 118 RBIs.
But once Trammell was elevated to Double A at the start of 2019 and joined the Chattanooga Lookouts, his performance at the plate dwindled. His average dropped to .234 after hitting .277 the previous season and was a part of a three-team trade last July that sent him to San Diego.
“At first, it kind of hit me,” Trammell said. “I don’t want to say that I was in shock, but it was a curve ball. At first, I was like, ‘Dang, this was the team I was drafted by, but I took it all with a cup half full. (San Diego) wanted to trade for me, and I have to understand these guys are invested in me.”
At first, the change of scenery didn’t help Trammell’s production.
Upon joining Amarillo Sod Poodles, he was down to .229 and admitted that the slump was all in his head and was trying to do too much. With Trammell getting himself out of that mindset and the adrenaline of postseason baseball kicking in, the bat started to feel comfortable again.
Not only was Trammell hitting .310 for Amarillo during the playoffs, he hit the go-ahead grand slam that lifted the Sod Poodles to a Texas League Championship over Tulsa in five games.
“It was more finding out about myself as a player and understanding why I play the game,” Trammell said. “For me, it was understanding myself. The last two weeks of the season, I was feeling good, and I ended up taking that into the postseason as well.”