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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

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

BrianG

where would you rank him, fantasy-wise, among outfielders going forward, in a non-keeper league?

May 31, 2014 19:51 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

I'd rank him as a top-40 outfielder the rest of the way in redraft leagues.

Jun 02, 2014 04:36 AM
 
Johnston

Expect this guy to be amazing.

May 31, 2014 23:37 PM
rating: 0
 
BillJohnson

Don't expect him to be amazing. Expect him to be good, and hope that he becomes amazing, because he can.

Jun 01, 2014 06:58 AM
rating: 1
 
majnun

Oh okay

Jun 01, 2014 07:02 AM
rating: 0
 
Johnston

I've been watching him come up. Expect him to be amazing.

Jun 01, 2014 21:18 PM
rating: 0
 
JohnnyB

You have to be pretty interesting/good to be mentioned as a throwaway 50 years later. Syd Barrett indeed.

Jun 01, 2014 10:34 AM
rating: 1
 
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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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