Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Taylor a role model battling diabetes

Taylor a role model while battling through disease

PHOENIX — Michael Taylor receives the occasional letter from parents who thank him for being an inspiration to their child.

They're not talking about Taylor being one of the major leagues' top prospects.

The A's outfielder is paving his way to the big leagues while battling Type 1 diabetes, a condition Taylor was diagnosed with at age 9.

Before he hits the field every morning, Taylor pricks his finger to draw blood and measure his blood-sugar level. Then he injects himself with a shot of insulin, an exercise he repeats five or six times daily.

That's the laborious part of dealing with a disease that affects up to three million Americans.

The payoff comes when he talks to children with diabetes and sees their faces light up as his message sinks in: Being diabetic doesn't mean you can't live a normal life, or even be a professional athlete.

"That's the coolest part about this experience," Taylor, 24, said.

One glance at Taylor shows why the A's were enamored with the former Stanford star. He's listed at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, and he combines that size with good speed and surprising agility.

The A's traded highly regarded third baseman Brett Wallace to Toronto in exchange for Taylor on Dec. 16, immediately after Taylor had been dealt from Philadelphia to Toronto as part of the Roy Halladay trade.

Baseball America ranks Taylor as the majors' No. 29 overall prospect, one spot behind teammate Chris

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