March 21, 2013
While there are several players that come up in the conversation for best hit tool, few draw such consistent praise as Taveras. The swing mechanics aren’t so much pretty as they are violent, but Taveras has an uncanny ability to control the violence in his swing and put the bat on the ball. The strength in his forearms and wrists helps create plus-plus bat speed through the zone and the overall swing plane allows him to keep the barrel of the bat in the hitting zone for an extended period of time. Taveras’ contact is often loud and consistently sprayed to all fields. The only question surrounding Taveras’ hitting ability is the frequency with which he swings and the aggressiveness of his overall approach; but even that has yet to keep scouts from projecting him as a perennial .300 hitter and potential batting champion.
All three of these players were given strong consideration for the top spot in the minor leagues, but none could match the overwhelming praise piled on Taveras. Profar is nothing short of a fantastic overall player and most scouts project him as a consistent .300 hitter in the big leagues, much like Taveras. After an impressive college career that left amateur scouts drooling, Rendon has flown a little under the radar over the last year because of injury. There may be durability and longevity concerns surrounding Rendon, but nobody questions his ability to hit for a high average. He has an excellent approach at the plate, quick hands and good barrel control, leading to plenty of hard contact and high batting averages. Christian Yelich may be the most unheralded of the four prospects in this discussion, but he owns a gorgeous swing that generates hard line drives to all fields. Like Profar and Rendon, Yelich profiles as a potential .300 hitter, just not in the class of Oscar Taveras.