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Prospect rankings primer
The Top Ten
1. Oscar Taveras
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 180 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2008, Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: .321/.380/.572 at Double-A Springfield (124 games)
The Tools: 7+ potential hit; 6+ potential power; 5+ arm; 5 glove
What Happened in 2012: Simply put, Taveras emerged as the premier offensive star in the minors, hitting for average and power in Double-A against much older competition.
Strengths: Elite bat speed; impressive hand/eye coordination; violent torque-heavy swing, but excellent bat control in the zone; hit tool projects to easy 7; batting title potential; raw power is 8; game power could play as 6+; uses the entire field; very hard to exploit; shows defensive aptitude; 5+ glove; arm is solid at al spots; most likely a corner, but can handle center field at present.
Weaknesses: Approach is aggressive and he doesn’t keep bat on shoulders; better pitching will challenge his see-ball/attack-ball approach; will expand his zone; one pro scouting director said Taveras’ biggest weakness is that he doesn’t play for the scouting director’s team; baserunning could still improve; routes/angles to ball in OF need refinement; minor nitpicks.
Overall Future Potential: 7; perennial all-star
Explanation of Risk: Low risk; already dominated Double-A level; high floor/cathedral ceiling.
Fantasy Future: Monster player; has the potential to hit over. 300 with 60-plus extra-base hits.
The Year Ahead: In another org, Taveras might be penciled in to the major-league lineup to start 2013, but the Cardinals can afford to put Taveras in Triple-A until a spot opens up on the 25-man. He’s going to continue to mash at a very high level in Memphis, and when injury or inconsistency opens up a spot at the major-league level, Taveras will mash there as well. His offensive ceiling could make him one of the best talents in the league, the type of player you can build a franchise around. This is a very special prospect who is likely to develop into a very special player at the major-league level. If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, do so quickly. This is a future star.
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