For the first time in eight years, Gatorade has named its SC Player of the Year from the Midlands.
Outfielder Will Taylor of Dutch Fork High School was named the 2021 recipient Wednesday. The two-sport Clemson University signee and top major league prospect became the first award recipient from a Midlands school since former Lexington High standout and current Baltimore Orioles catcher Nick Ciuffo in 2013 and fifth since it started in 1986.
During Taylor’s lone season with the Silver Foxes, he batted .429, had 34 runs, 30 RBI, 22 walks, 19 stolen bases, seven home runs, six doubles and a .576 on base percentage. Taylor helped Dutch Fork win the Region 5-5A title, the SC High School League District Three title and finish Class 5A Lower State runner-up.
Taylor also was named Co-Player of the Year in all classifications by the SC Baseball Coaches Association and Region 5-5A Player of the Year.
“Will Taylor has one of the greatest work ethics of any player I’ve ever coached,” said Dutch Fork High School coach Casey Waites. “He has MLB power and speed. He is all business when he crosses the lines to play, and his baseball knowledge is at a very high level. Taylor’s baseball stock has increased in the off-season. Baseball America has Taylor getting selected 9th overall and ESPN at 14th in its latest Major League Baseball projections. The draft is scheduled for July 11-13. Taylor’s baseball exploits follows his one season as Dutch Fork quarterback in which he led the football team to a state-record fifth consecutive state title. He was named Maxpreps SC High School Football Player of the Year.