ALBUQUERQUE — Taylor Motter has already made an impact in his first season in the Colorado Rockies system by making life difficult on opposing pitchers … as well as his manager.
Colorado Rockies prospect Taylor Motter had a month to remember for the Albuquerque Isotopes
Looking out over Rio Grande Credit Union Field on the last day of July, the 31-year-old Motter sat in the stands knowing he was the most productive power hitter in Triple-A in July. In 74 at-bats for the Albuquerque Isotopes during the month, Motter had smacked 15 homers, bringing his Triple-A leading total on the season to 24.
On the season, Motter has a slash line of .333/.458/.797 with an OPS sitting at a ridiculous 1.255. That includes a .392/.511/1.068 run in July alone.
Motter has 372 Major League at-bats under his belt, with the last 34 coming during a 2018 season where he split time between Seattle and Minnesota. He’s posted a career .191 average, but that was also a different Motter.
Entering a 2021 season with a philosophy of “let’s just go out and have fun,” Motter said, the player who has had the “utility player” tag attached to him throughout his career wanted that to change.
“I worked my butt off in the offseason,” Motter told me. “I put 35-40 pounds on. I wanted to change the ‘utility role’ to something different.”
And Motter has done just that, already hitting more homers this season than in any other season in his career. He’s also hitting at a higher clip consistently more than ever in his career, something that has impressed Isotopes manager Warren Schaeffer.
“His approach, I haven’t seen anything like that in a while. It’s really incredible,” Schaeffer told me. “I mean, you see guys for a week or two at a time, but he’s just been almost season. He’s been locked in.”
Sure, the homers are great, but Schaeffer isn’t seeing Motter as a home run or strikeout guy. Motter has 44 walks this season, one more than he has strikeouts.
“His walk total is impressive. That’s what’s most impressive to me,” Schaeffer said.
Speaking of Schaeffer, Motter smiled when I asked him about his goals entering this season and what those looked like.
“This year, I told Schaeffer and someone else that my goal was to make their decision difficult on what to do with me throughout the season, whether it was to play me here, whether it was to call me up, whether it was to send me to Double-A, I wanted to make their decision very tough, and in a good way, not in a cocky bad way. I just wanted to give them something to think about and, up to this point, I think I’ve been able to do that.”
Motter’s numbers are likely to give the Rockies something to think about, as well as his ability to play all four infield positions as well as the corner outfield spots. Productivity like that is going to make it a tough decision to keep him on the bench … and perhaps in Triple-A as well.
You can listen to the entire interview with Motter, as well as Isotopes outfielder Wynton Bernard and some thoughts from Schaeffer in our podcast below. We also discuss Colorado’s inactivity at the trade deadline.