WASHINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Ben Taylor has won the final spot in Boston's bullpen, Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Friday.Brought to Red Sox camp as a non-roster invitee, Taylor earned his way onto the club's Opening Day roster with an impressive Spring Training. The 24-year-old recorded a 3.46 ERA,
WASHINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Ben Taylor has won the final spot in Boston's bullpen, Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Friday.
Brought to Red Sox camp as a non-roster invitee, Taylor earned his way onto the club's Opening Day roster with an impressive Spring Training. The 24-year-old recorded a 3.46 ERA, struck out 19 batters and walked three in 13 innings.
"It's a pretty cool feeling," Taylor said. "I've been working for this especially hard the past month, but for my whole life."
The Red Sox drafted Taylor in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of South Alabama. The young righty quickly progressed through the Minor Leagues, needing just two seasons to jump from Class A Short Season Lowell to the Majors.
Taylor went 1-2 with a 2.96 ERA split between Class A Advanced Salem and Double-A Portland last season, racking up 98 strikeouts in 79 innings.
"He's had a fantastic Spring Training, when you think about a guy who's just in his second full season in pro baseball," Farrell said. "He's emerged year over year. He was a senior sign out of the University of South Alabama, but a quality strikeout performer throughout the Minor Leagues. He's shown that here in camp. ... But what stuck out to us was the mound presence and the poise that he showed to be a mature guy."
Taylor said his maturity comes in part from watching reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello go through the motions on a daily basis.
"Watching Rick go about his day, you know he's a Cy Young winner. It's incredible to see what he does," Taylor said. "I've tried to take a few things from him and apply them to my own routine to make myself better."
Farrell noticed the resemblances in the way the two pitchers approach their work.
"There are some similarities in personality," Farrell said. "I don't want to say he's completely reserved, but it's a very business-like approach, it's disciplined. [Ben's] got a quiet, strong, competitive nature about him. It's great [for Rick] to be able to deliver a message to a young guy who's now realizing a dream and making the club for the first time coming out of Spring Training."
• Boston reassigned right-handed pitchers Jamie Callahan and Austin Maddox to Double-A Portland and Chandler Shepherd to Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. The club also outrighted outfielder Bryce Brentz to Pawtucket. The Red Sox have 31 players remaining in Major League camp.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C.