Prep Baseball Report

Taggart Plans To Be ‘Composed For The Big Moments’ At Utah

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Taggart Plans To Be ‘Composed For The Big Moments’ At Utah

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Aiden Taggart RHP / Grimsby, ON / 2024

GRIMSBY, Ontario - Aiden Taggart had not been to Utah before taking a visit in the fall. It was better than imagined.

“The weather reminded me of Canada with fresh crisp air,” the Grimsby High School senior related. “It was cool, but not too freezing out. It was somewhere far from home that reminds me of home.”

In the near future it will be home for Taggart after the ninth-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in Ontario committed to the University of Utah.

“It first started when my coach showed them some video and they took some interest,” Taggart reflected. “At the Canadian Future Showcase I first met the coach and he asked me before I pitched what I was gonna do on the mound and I said ‘impress them’ and I went out and did well. After that they wanted me to stay in contact with them and let them know how I was doing.” 

Positive feedback was returned from Taggart after the 6-3 200-pounder pitched in Florida.

“I also kept him up on my training,” Taggart noted. “I went with the Canadian Junior National Team to the Dominican Republic and also gave him info from that. All that gave him an idea of who I was as a player and person. Then he invited me and Owen Gregg on a visit.”

Both Canadians made a commitment to the university that will begin play in the Big 12 Conference in the 2024-25 school year.

“I was in awe of the city,” Taggart said of Salt Lake City where the school is located. “I enjoyed the campus, the food and a football game and decided that’s where I wanted to spend the next four years. They offered on the visit and I called back a couple of days later and committed.”

Niagara, Canisius, Middle Tennessee State, VCU and Maine were other schools that Taggart had “good talks with” before taking the offer from Utah.

“They liked my quick tempo on the mound and that I’m a competitor, I didn’t shy away from any opponent,” the 13th-ranked senior in Ontario noted. “With my development over the last year they like how I’m progressing upward and not plateauing, and how I project for them in the program in the future.”

It was just a few years ago that Taggart discovered college baseball was what he wanted in his future.

“When you’re 12-13 you’re told that’s the next level and I rolled with it,” Taggart explained. “At 15U I realized how big of a deal college baseball in the U.S. is. The competitive atmosphere and collection of the best players in the country, that’s when I knew what I was going to work for.”

Improvement followed for the hard-throwing right-hander.

“Last year I was topping 87 and sitting 82-84 and struggled with offspeed pitches,” Taggart related. “I couldn’t throw them for strikes. One of the biggest things is I not only wanted to throw harder but also worked on my offspeed to be able to throw it where I wanted. Now I don’t have to just throw a fastball and that makes it tougher on hitters. Now I’m sitting 87-88 topping at 90.”

Two individuals are credited with being instrumental in his journey to Utah.

“Jimmy Richardson is my coach who shared Utah the videos,” Taggart said. “He kept me in the loop with what they were thinking and events to go to. John Marrioto, my pitching coach, I wouldn’t be here without him. Putting in the hard work together, I’ll forever be grateful.” 

The assistance proved valuable in a recruiting process that had ups and downs.

“I didn’t find it stressful but it wasn’t moving quickly for a while and I was wondering if I might be left behind,” Taggart admitted. “But when I got with Utah it moved quickly and I was able to figure it out. The Canadian Future Showcase really helped a lot, then keeping in touch with how I was doing helped progress it to the level of interest.”

Next came a commitment, a memorable time for Taggart.

“It was a crazy feeling,” Taggart explained. “This weight was lifted off my shoulders. But at the same time I was still the same player and person and had to keep on going with my life. But if I didn’t commit there would be sort of a cloud over your head. That cloud’s been cleared now.”

Taggart, who carries a 4.0 GPA and plans to major in accounting, sees a bright future ahead.

“I’m looking forward to how ingrained baseball is going to be day in and day out every day,” Taggart said. “Practicing on the field and working with coaches whose job is to make me get better is what I’m looking forward to the most.”

There is confidence with what he can bring to a program at the university which is a 27-hour drive or four-hour flight from home.

“By the time I get in the program I want to be a guy that eats up innings who will be composed for the big moments,” Taggart said. “I want to be a guy they can turn to that’s reliable and will give the team a chance to win when I’m out there doing my thing.”

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