At this time three years ago, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was just getting ready to make his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League.
Now, a couple months shy of his 20th birthday, Taveras is already one of the best hitters in the Double-A Texas League, which he showed more evidence of today by going 2-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season. Taveras is hitting .312/.321/.610 in 18 games for Springfield thanks to a knack for barreling up the ball with a bat that stays in the hitting zone a long time when he's going right.
Taveras is getting some time in center field, but he really doesn't have the range or the instincts to play there, so at some point he will end up sliding back to one of the corner outfield spots. Taveras probably will never be a high walks guy–he's drawn just one free pass in 78 plate appearances–but remember that he's skipping the high Class A Florida State League and had just 78 games of full-season experience coming into the year, which makes his quick start of hitting for batting average and power even more impressive.
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