PHOENIX – Former Washington State first baseman Taylor Ard is back in affiliated baseball.
A seventh round pick in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft by the Seattle Mariners, he spent two seasons in the minors with the Mariners. Released by Seattle in the spring of 2014, Ard signed a contract with the River City Rascals of O’Fallon, Mo., in the independent Frontier League.
Through 50 games, Ard was hitting .338 with nine home runs, 33 RBI, a .404 on-base percentage, .544 slugging percentage, .948 OPS and nine stolen bases in 10 attempts. Playing third base for the Rascals, he was named to the West Division team for the Frontier League All-Star Game.
A day after the game, his contract was purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Assigned to Hillsboro (Ore.) Hops in the Northwest League, Ard has appeared in three games and collected a hit in each of his two starts.
During his two years with Seattle’s organization, Ard batted .262 with 68 extra-base hits, including 20 home runs, in just over 700 at bats.
At Washington State, he was a two-time All-Pac-12 and All-West Region selection. In his final season as a Cougar, he batted .332 and was ranked in the Pac-12’s top 10 for home runs (12), RBI (50), total bases (127) and slugging percentage (.577).