07/07/2010 5:45 PM - BREWSTER ---- When Taylor Ard graduated from Prairie High School of Vancouver, Wash., he was unsure where his baseball career would take him. Having posted stellar numbers in his high school, Ard was a three-time letter winner and three-time first team all-league selection.
Despite his success, he received no Division 1 offers. With little options, he decided to attend Mount Hood (Oregon) Community College.
“Out of high school, I wasn’t one of the top prospects,” he said. “I felt it was the right choice to attend Mount Hood. I knew they had a great reputation of sending players to Division 1 schools. I hoped the same would be true for me in the future.”
Ard’s intuition was right. In his first season at Mount Hood, he averaged .490 and was named the Southern Region and NWAACC Player of the Year. He went on to play summer ball with the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast Collegiate League, collecting 40 RBI and five home runs. With success under his belt, he drew the attention of top D-1 program Washington State, which he will attend next year.
With the course of his future a little clearer, Ard finds himself in the top collegiate baseball league in the country, and getting a taste of the competition he will face next season.
“Playing with Brewster has been great for me so far. Having come from a junior college to now playing against all the top players in the country has been so beneficial for me as a player,” he said.
Ard is not the only one benefiting. He has made valuable contributions to the Whitecaps in his first month of play. He currently has seven RBI and one home run hitting from the cleanup spot. But for Ard, it’s all about the team’s success.
“It doesn’t matter where I am in the lineup, I’m just happy to be in it. I just want to try to keep hitting for my team and give us the best chance to win,” he said.
Brewster Manager Tom Myers has faith in Ard, which is why he was invited to play with the Whitecaps in the first place.
“I knew some of Taylor’s coaches and advisors and went off a recommendation from the Washington State coach,” he said.
“He has posted crazy numbers in his career and those follow you wherever you go.”
Myers describes Ard as “all business.” It’s clear he is not taking this opportunity for granted.
“Taylor and hitting coach Tim Gloyd have really bonded. He’s been open minded to advice that has been given to him and has really worked on his approach at the plate, and now I think he’s starting to see the fruits from his labor,” Myers said.
The 6-2, 225-pound Ard has been described by coaches and teammates as a kind, gentle giant, and a man of few words. But he has made it clear that no matter what happens, he always wants baseball to be part of his life.
“If I don’t make it to the big leagues as a player, I want to start a small baseball business and would really love to become an agent,” he said.