Taylor Gushue, the 4th round draft pick in 2014 out of the University of Florida, is one of the most reserved, quiet players in the Jamestown Jammers clubhouse. You can frequently find him relaxing at his locker, or quietly getting in his pre-game routine in the batting cages and on the field at Diethrick Park. However, Gushue’s play on the field certainly isn’t quiet at all.
Gushue grew up in Boca Raton, Florida and attended Calvary Christian academy, a K-12 school, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He graduated from the academy in 2011 and earned all-state, and all-county all three years he played baseball at the school. After receiving offers from many different schools, Taylor chose to attend the University of Florida, and play for the prestigious Gators.
“I had several offers coming out of high school, but I just felt the most comfortable at the University of Florida. It was in my home state, I was familiar with the area, and they always have an excellent team, which made me feel like it was the right choice for me,” Gushue said during an interview I conducted with him.
This past season for the Florida Gators (his junior year), Gushue broke out. He played in 62 games, hit a career high .320, drove in 49 runs, hit 16 doubles, and was a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award (Nation’s Top Catcher). Gushue was then chosen as the 131st overall pick in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Just getting older, maturing, and developing more as a player allowed me to be so successful this past season. I was an older guy, and I knew how much work needed to be put in to be successful at that level. I pushed myself to get better everyday, and it really worked out for me. When I got that call from the Pirates telling me that I was drafted, there are no words to describe that feeling. I just could not wait to get started.”
After being drafted by the Pirates, Gushue quickly singed his first professional contract, and joined the Jammers just in time for their opening game June 13th. Since then, he has impressed to say the least. In 19 games as of July 7th, Gushue is hitting .318 (which is 9th in the New York-Penn League), has 21 hits, four home runs, 16 RBIs, five doubles, and two triples. He has been a key cog in a Jammers offense that – at the time of this writing – ranks 5th in the New York-Penn League in batting average.
“Essentially, it’s the same approach I had this past season at the University of Florida. I know how hard I’m going to have to work to be successful at this level. I can’t be satisfied. I have to push myself to get better every day.”
Taylor Gushue has a bright future ahead of him. He has seamlessly made the adjustment from college ball to the pros. Don’t be surprised if he is calling Pittsburgh home several years from now. Make sure to stop by Diethrick Park to see him, and the rest of the 2014 Jamestown Jammers, take the field this season.
Cody Crandall is an intern at the Jamestown Gazette. To read more of his insights, commentaries, and news about the world of sports and the Jamestown Jammers, visit www.jamestowngazette.com. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.