Taylor Kinzer achieved a lifelong dream Wednesday afternoon when he signed a professional baseball contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the team’s spring training complex in Tempe, Arizona.
“This is my dream,” Kinzer said after the signing. “It’s what I’ve wanted to pursue my entire life.”
Kinzer will report to a five-day minicamp in Arizona with other Angels draft picks who signed early with the organization. The next stop will be Orem, Utah, where he will suit up for the Orem Owlz, one of the Angels’ two rookie league affiliates.
Opening day for the Owlz is June 23, followed by a two-and-a-half-month season consisting of approximately 80 games.
A right-handed pitcher who played the last two seasons for Taylor University, Kinzer was 8-0 on the mound for the Trojans this past spring as they captured the Mid-Central College Conference Tournament championship and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament.
“My experience at Taylor has been life-changing,” Kinzer said. “The community is awesome and my team was the best group of guys I’ve ever played with. Coach [Taylor head coach Kyle Gould] has prepared me and pushed me to be the best I can be—both on and off the field. I really respect him and it’s been a blessing to have him as my coach.”
By signing a professional contract, Kinzer will forego his final two years of eligibility at Taylor, but the Angels will help Kinzer financially to complete his Taylor education.
“I definitely had my mind set on playing, but it depended on getting school paid for,” Kinzer said. “When the Angels made that happen, it made my decision that much easier.”
Following the signing, Taylor head coach Kyle Gould had high praise for his former ace.
“I knew when we signed Taylor two years ago, that his goal since he was a little kid was to play professional baseball,” Gould said. “Although we would have loved to have him back for his final two years of eligibility, I couldn’t be happier for Taylor as he has earned the opportunity to pursue his life-long dream of playing professionally as a member of the Los Angeles Angels organization.”
Even with Kinzer’s departure, the family ties to Taylor baseball will continue. Kinzer’s father Matt Kinzer, who played professionally for the St. Louis Cardinals, is the pitching coach for the Trojans. He will be joined by Taylor’s younger brother and incoming freshman, Derek Kinzer, this fall.
See also: WANE TV Story and Video of Kinzer leaving Fort Wayne to Report to Angels’ Camp
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