A's Catcher Beau Taylor Far More Confident in Second Big-league Stint

OAKLAND -- Beau Taylor toiled in the minor leagues for eight long years before finally getting his first big-league call-up at the end of last season.

Needless to say, it was the thrill of a lifetime for the A's catcher, who wasn't sure he would ever make it to baseball's highest level.

"That's one of the greatest feelings, especially coming up with the team that drafted me,"  Taylor told NBC Sports California. "It was exciting."

Taylor only ended up getting five at-bats but did record his first major-league hit -- a double against the Angels. Even in his limited time with Oakland, he learned a great deal from his teammates.

"I didn't really know what to expect when I got up here," he said. "I mean, I've been up here during the (preseason) Bay Bridge series but didn't exactly know how it was during the season. It was eye-opening for me actually seeing how these guys get prepared each day for the game. It helped me grow as a player, knowing what they do in the weight room and just getting ready for the game mentally and physically."

Taylor, 29, earned his second major-league call-up earlier this month when Nick Hundley went on the injured list with back spasms. While Taylor was once again excited for the opportunity, it felt more like business as usual this time.

"(Last year) it still seemed like a little bit of a blur," he said. "This time, I can see a little bit more now. ... It's just more familiar. I feel like I belong. That's the best part, especially when everybody takes you in. I've caught all of these pitchers and been around these guys for a long time. It's a really good feeling."

That confidence has been reflected in Taylor's performance. He has notched three hits in 11 at-bats, belting his first career home run Tuesday night against the Orioles.

"I think since Beau has been here, this is the most comfortable we've seen him," A's manager Bob Melvin assessed. "I really have sensed a little different look in his eye and being comfortable here in the big leagues with his teammates."

Taylor's familiarity with his teammates has certainly helped him feel at home. He played alongside several current A's in Triple-A, Double-A, and even Single-A over the past few years.

"I've known a lot of these guys for a really long time," Taylor said. "It feels kind of like home, actually, being back up here. Everybody meshes well together. It feels really good to be here."

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Taylor has also excelled defensively in his first few games, expertly managing the pitching staff and throwing out both attempted base stealers he's seen. That will definitely earn him more regular playing time as Josh Phegley's backup.

"We look to get Beau some consistent starts here, whether it's on day games, whether we have lefty-righties coming up where we can get him some good matchups," Melvin said. "I've been impressed by (him)."

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