Today's the big day for KC Royals prospect Samad Taylor

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It's been almost a year since the KC Royals abandoned their perennial reluctance to trade Whit Merrifield and shipped him off to Toronto at the trade deadline. The probably overdue deal netted the Royals two minor leaguers—one, pitcher Max Castillo, made it to Kansas City before the season ended while the other, injured when the Royals and Blue Jays consummated the trade, didn't play again until he returned to action in the postseason Arizona Fall League.

But this afternoon, Samad Taylor, ranked No. 19 among MLB Pipeline's Top 30 KC prospects, is scheduled to make his major league debut when the last-place Royals, losers of 10 straight games and looking for answers, host the Los Angeles Angels in a 3:10 p.m. CDT contest at Kauffman Stadium.

The speedy Taylor—he'd already stolen 34 bases for Triple-A Omaha when the Royals promoted him Friday to take struggling Nate Eaton's place on the big league roster—is manager Matt Quatraro's latest choice to man left field, and will bat eighth:

KC fans have eagerly awaited the rookie's first appearance. He was hitting .304 with a superb .409 OBP for the Storm Chasers, numbers that help explain why he'd had the chance to steal so many bases so soon. And his arrival gives the Royals a third major threat on the bases: Bobby Witt Jr. has 21 steals and outfielder Dairon Blanco had swiped an astonishing 47 bases for Omaha this season before Kansas City promoted him less than a week ago.

Who are this afternoon's starting pitchers for the KC Royals and LA?

Quatraro will lead with Mike Mayers, who's never faced the Angels before. Whether the righthander merely opens remains to be seen—he's served as bulk man and posted a 1-2, 6.43 ERA record in his last three appearances, but started May 23 against Detroit (his only starting assignment of the season) and struck out eight and gave up only a run in 4.1 innings. He left that game with a 3-0 lead after loading the bases in the fifth, losing his chance to qualify for a pitching win. Overall, Mayers is 1-2, 5.06.

Griffin Canning is slated to start for the Angels, who at 40-32 are only barely-perceptible percentage points behind second-place Houston in the American League West. Righty Canning, 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in three career starts against Kansas City, is 5-2, 4.56 this season.

How can KC Royals fans watch or listen to this afternoon's game?

Today's contest can be seen on Bally Sports Kansas City, FS1, and Bally Sports West. Those who'd rather listen than watch can find the game on KCSP-AM 610 Sports Radio and on Royals Radio Network affiliates.

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