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May 31, 2014

The Call-Up

Oscar Taveras

by Jason Parks and Bret Sayre


The Situation: The Cardinals need an offensive boost and Taveras bleeds rocket fuel.

Background: The Cardinals signed Taveras on the international free agent market in 2008 for just under $150K, a cheeky and smart opportunity created by Taveras’ move back to the Dominican Republic after several years spent living in some place called “Canada,” where he would’ve been eligible for the draft. The then-16-year-old was well regarded for his offensive upside, as scouts were enraptured by his natural bat speed, but this wasn’t a no-brainer prospect, and the world outside the industry walls would not take notice for several years.

As a 17-year-old, Taveras made his professional debut, putting up a solid performance in the always adventurous Dominican Summer League, a place where statistical output requires more context than any other level of any sport I can think of; strike zones are as schizophrenic as Syd Barrett, and the level of talent ranges from raw with promise to straight-up Salmonella on sight. Taveras made the jump to stateside ball as an 18-year-old in 2010, putting himself on the prospect map with a standout performance in the rookie Appalachian League. I first became aware of him while he was with that Johnson City club, but I wasn’t even officially writing for Baseball Prospectus at the time, so unless my Rangers-centric audience wanted to know about some random teenager raking in a short-season league, my soapbox was a slice of wicker.

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues,  Oscar Taveras

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<< Previous Article
This is Not Your Fathe... (05/31)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Tommy La ... (05/29)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Jonathan ... (06/04)
Next Article >>
Out of the Park (OOTP)... (06/02)

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