There are plenty of top prospects turning up on major league rosters these days and St Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras is as big as any of them.
Many thought Taveras would make his debut last season, but ankle surgery forced him to miss the end of the season.
Instead, he got called up on Saturday and homered in debut. Through Tuesday, Taveras had three hits in 13 at-bats after having an infield single taken away after a replay review on Tuesday night.
At this point, teammate Kolten Wong is the hotter prospect. Wong was May's National League Rookie of the Month and then he hit a grand slam to lead the Cardinals past the Kansas City Royals by an 8-7 score on Tuesday night.
“To do it hitting the grand slam, that was the first grand slam of my entire career, from Little League on," Wong told MLB.com. "So to do it, it was awesome."
But back to Taveras. He his .321 in his minor league career with 52 home runs and is considered one of the top hitting prospects in the game.
He was ranked the No. 3 prospect in baseball heading into the season by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America, and finally got his opportunity when teammate Matt Adams got hurt. This led to Allen Craig shifting from the outfield back to first base to replace Adams.
The team wanted to wait to call him up until there was a clear spot in the lineup for Taveras to play every day.
“Oscar’s gonna get an opportunity–we’re gonna see what he can do,” Matheny told St. Louis Baseball Weekly. “I think everybody should be excited–I know he is. He’s been waiting for this for awhile. There’s been a lot of people anticipating him getting here. Hopefully, we can limit the distractions for him to where he just goes and plays the game, that’s always a challenge for us.
“He’s done a lot of things right for a lot of years to get the excitement level to where it is. We know our fans have been waiting for this to happen so we’ll get a chance to see him. See how he mixes in and hopefully, he jumps on board with what we’re trying to do as a club and realizes all he needs to do is just his part.”
With any luck, he'll be a mainstay in the Cardinals' lineup for years.
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